Georgia Bulldogs Game 4 Preview: Tennessee Volunteers


This week the No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs will take on the Tennessee Volunteers in a rematch of what was one of 2013’s most physical games.

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Date: 10/4/2014
Kickoff Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: Sanford Stadium – Athens, Ga.
Series Record: Tennessee leads, 21–20–2
Last Meeting: October 5, 2013 – Georgia 34, Tennessee 31 (OT)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG;
Internet Stream: GTV on

Latest Line: Georgia by 17

The Georgia Bulldogs (2-1, 0-1 SEC) will resume conference play at Sanford Stadium against the much improved Tennessee Volunteers.  Last year’s meeting in Knoxville turned out to be a punishing affair, especially for Georgia who lost several players to injury, including the still-recovering Keith Marshall.

After a 66-0 blanking of the Troy Trojans, the Bulldogs have high confidence, and practices have been spirited and energetic leading up to this week’s game.

The Volunteers come in with a 2-1 record, and have had a week off to lick their own wounds after a 34-10 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Ok. This is a hungry young Tennessee team that has a lot of belief in themselves, and will prove to be a tough adversary for the Bulldogs.

Keys to the game:

In a nutshell, this is simple. Tennessee is going to have to figure a way to slow down the Georgia running attack, which has been rampaging over everything in its path, and the Bulldogs are going to have to man up to some of the best receivers in the SEC.

Georgia will want to run first, and ask questions later. Controlling the clock, controlling the game and keeping the Vols off the field on offense will be paramount to a successful game.

Georgia will still be short three wide receivers, with Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley and Jonathon Rumph out once more. Running backs Keith Marshall and A.J. Turman are also doubtful for the game, so the Dawgs will once again lean heavily on Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Brendan Douglas to carry the load against the Vols.

Tennessee will be content to air the ball out as much as possible, and quarterback Justin Worley is proving to be a good leader for this offense. He has four receivers who are averaging over 12 yards per catch, and who can break a game open in a hurry. Georgia’s pass defense will be tested – often, and deep.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

This game is a textbook match of strength against weakness.

Pig Howard

is just one of the Tennessee wide receivers that Georgia will have to be concerned about – Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, Bulldogs strength is on the legs of Gurley, Chubb and the other running backs. Georgia ranks 13th in the nation in rushing yards per game with 304. That will make it very tough on a Volunteers rushing defense who is giving up 129 yards per game, good for 49th in the country.

Tennessee is throwing the ball at a clip of 240 yards per game, and will be facing a Georgia secondary that has been mostly disappointing this season, giving up 214 yards per game.

It’s all going to boil down to which offense can be most successful at what they are good at, and neither team is very good at defending what the opponent does best in this game. What tilts things in Georgia’s favor is special teams, with three different return men who can break it for the distance at any time.


Last year’s game should have never gone to overtime, and the way Georgia has played in their first three games, this one may be over in a hurry. A shootout is always possible, but Georgia’s ground game will take control and keep the ball out of Worley’s hands. Take the Dawgs by two touchdowns and a field goal this year.