Evan Woodbery: Tennessee vs. Georgia matchups

Breaking down the personnel for Tennessee and Georgia.

Quarterbacks

Tyler Bray hasn't won a big SEC game in parts of three years as an SEC starter. Believe it or not, Aaron Murray gets similar criticism, never having beat a team in the top 20. The two friends are both legitimate NFL prospects, but Murray has benefited from a stronger supporting cast and has more experience. Edge: Georgia.

Running backs

When one talented back was kicked off the team, the Bulldogs simply replaced him with a true freshman who has done even better. Todd Gurley is leading the league in rushing, but he's not the only threat. Keith Marshall, another true freshman, and Ken Malcome, a sophomore, also have picked up big yardage. The Vols' run game is improved, but it's not at that level yet. Edge: Georgia.

Wide receivers/tight ends

What Georgia's unit lacks in star power it's made up for in consistency. Michael Bennett, Marlon Brown and Tavarres King combine for about 200 yards a game. Justin Hunter has been steady for the Vols, who must also find a way to keep Cordarrelle Patterson involved. Edge: Even.

Offensive line

Tennessee's offensive line has made strides from a year ago, but there still have been frustrating breakdowns in short-yardage situations, even against an overmatched Akron opponent. The Bulldogs have a big, experienced line that has helped open holes for a strong running game. Edge: Georgia

Defensive line

UT's Daniel McCullers will be back in the middle after essentially taking an off-day against the Zips' spread offense last week. The youngster will face his biggest test against a balanced offense that uses a tricky play-action. The Bulldogs' front has effectively shut down most running attacks. Edge: Georgia.

Linebackers

Georgia's Jarvis Jones nearly has as many sacks (4.5) as the Vols' entire team (5). He's a consensus All-American who can play all over the field. Alec Ogletree is back from suspension, making a strong unit even stronger. For the Vols, this game is an opportunity for talented sophomores A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt to prove their mettle. Edge: Georgia.

Secondary

The Vols broke in two new starters last week (Justin Coleman at corner and Brent Brewer at safety) but didn't get to play as many youngsters as they would have liked. Bacarri Rambo will be back from suspension for the Bulldogs, although the team doesn't appear to have missed a beat without him. Edge: Georgia

Special teams

The Bulldogs have a true freshman punter and kicker, for a unit of youth on a veteran team. Of course, Georgia's offense has been so good that both players have been used sparingly. The Vols need kicker Derrick Brodus to carry over his perfect performance against Akron into his first road game. Edge: Even.

Coaching

Mark Richt has weathered a rough year (6-7 in 2010) and a rough start (0-2 to start 2011) to put the Bulldogs back in the top 5, competing for an SEC and perhaps national title. His longevity in this cutthroat league is rare, but the administration has been rewarded for its patience. Edge: Georgia.

Intangibles

There's actually talk that this might be a "trap" game or a "letdown" game for the Bulldogs, which doesn't speak much of Tennessee's current place on the national college football map. The Vols are 14-point underdogs with nothing to lose. Big games aren't new for this team, but putting together a complete four quarters against a top opponent would be. Edge: Tennessee.

Pick

Georgia 34, Tennessee 27

The Vols are 14-point underdogs for a reason. Georgia simply has more talent at more positions. But if Tennessee creates turnovers on defense and big plays on offense — things it has done in the past — this game is winnable.

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Comments » 34

reidtownriverrat writes:

It hurts but 41-10 bulldogs.

6972 writes:

dawgs have the edge...now there is a suprise!
Sure would love to suprise the dawgs! A boost to the team, the coaches, and the fans could not come at a better time than now. VFL

underthehill writes:

Expect Dogs to make first downs with run game..don't know if Vols can ..expect Dogs to pressure Bray..don't know if Vols can pressure Murray..

TheVolSnake writes:

On the QB rating if you look at this year’s stats the edge goes to Bray, also look at the competition each team has played. This is why I say the Vols will win this game.

Murray and the Dawgs have played Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt and have an 66.3 completion % and 1092 yards. 10 TD and 2 Ints (Also has 3 rushing TDs) Ranked 12th in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... . He has been sacked 6 times

Bray and the Vols have played NC State, Georgia State, Fla and Akron and have an 63.5 completion % and 1301 yards. 12 TDs and 3 Ints, Ranked 3rd in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... Has been sacked 2 times.

Total offense UGA 8th and TN 11th http://espn.go.com/college-football/s...

Our running game has steadily improved this year each game we have had a higher rush total, so when you look the biggest item for this game is going to be if our defense plays to their ability, the defense so far has been hot and cold and very inconstant.But this is going to be the first game where we are not playing a spread offense and will be able to have our big 7 on the line.

I think this will be a very good game and the Vols have a chance to pull off a major upset. It will come down to if our defense can stop the Dawgs.

The Good thing is If the Vols due pull out the upset, Walt will disappear like he did after the NC State game.

Go Vols

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

Of course the game is winnable!
However, stats don't lie. Now earn your pay and get to work! Players make plays, but good SEC coaching develops those players into being able to make plays in any type of circumstance, and they do it without excuses and take responsibility for the losses, while giving credit during the wins. Peyton, after you win another super bowl, come on home. We need you.

VolGrad writes:

Just beat those dawgs!

Go Vols!!!

Clarkrm0706 writes:

With the term "upset" so common in cfb, I am so glad that the games are still played.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Just beat those dawgs!

Go Vols!!!

Oh no , don't beat a dawg. Kick the poo out of it.
Vols 27 Ga 24

ivyvol writes:

Horse hockey.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

Playing for four quarters and keeping this game within 2 scores is going to be a major improvement for the Vols.

Dooley's team falls short of that modest goal yet again.

Dawgs 34-Vols 13.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

On the QB rating if you look at this year’s stats the edge goes to Bray, also look at the competition each team has played. This is why I say the Vols will win this game.

Murray and the Dawgs have played Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt and have an 66.3 completion % and 1092 yards. 10 TD and 2 Ints (Also has 3 rushing TDs) Ranked 12th in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... . He has been sacked 6 times

Bray and the Vols have played NC State, Georgia State, Fla and Akron and have an 63.5 completion % and 1301 yards. 12 TDs and 3 Ints, Ranked 3rd in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... Has been sacked 2 times.

Total offense UGA 8th and TN 11th http://espn.go.com/college-football/s...

Our running game has steadily improved this year each game we have had a higher rush total, so when you look the biggest item for this game is going to be if our defense plays to their ability, the defense so far has been hot and cold and very inconstant.But this is going to be the first game where we are not playing a spread offense and will be able to have our big 7 on the line.

I think this will be a very good game and the Vols have a chance to pull off a major upset. It will come down to if our defense can stop the Dawgs.

The Good thing is If the Vols due pull out the upset, Walt will disappear like he did after the NC State game.

Go Vols

Snake, you just wrote an excellent article, nicely researched and supported. --- Refreshing.

I wouldn't sit here and say I'm confident that the Vols WILL upset the Dawgs, but I'm certainly not even penciling it in as a loss. The Vols have played stronger competition than the Dawgs overall, and statistically (on offense) have them even or better. I don't see the Dawgs' defense as the best our boys have faced this season so far (I'd give that nod to Florida), but I do see our defense as the best the Dawgs have faced so far, and our offense also the best their defense has faced.

This is going to be a good game, and I don't think either team is going to win by more than 10, unless somebody really has a bad day, and the ball always bounces the right way for one team and the wrong way for the other.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

On the QB rating if you look at this year’s stats the edge goes to Bray, also look at the competition each team has played. This is why I say the Vols will win this game.

Murray and the Dawgs have played Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt and have an 66.3 completion % and 1092 yards. 10 TD and 2 Ints (Also has 3 rushing TDs) Ranked 12th in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... . He has been sacked 6 times

Bray and the Vols have played NC State, Georgia State, Fla and Akron and have an 63.5 completion % and 1301 yards. 12 TDs and 3 Ints, Ranked 3rd in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... Has been sacked 2 times.

Total offense UGA 8th and TN 11th http://espn.go.com/college-football/s...

Our running game has steadily improved this year each game we have had a higher rush total, so when you look the biggest item for this game is going to be if our defense plays to their ability, the defense so far has been hot and cold and very inconstant.But this is going to be the first game where we are not playing a spread offense and will be able to have our big 7 on the line.

I think this will be a very good game and the Vols have a chance to pull off a major upset. It will come down to if our defense can stop the Dawgs.

The Good thing is If the Vols due pull out the upset, Walt will disappear like he did after the NC State game.

Go Vols

Our opponents compared to theirs:

Total Defense:

Florida -- #20, 305 ypg...........Mizzou -- #26, 317.5 ypg.
NC State -- #34, 325.8 ypg........Vandy -- #36, 328 ypg.
Akron -- #83, 415 ypg ............Buffalo -- #85, 418.3 ypg.
Ga State -- FCS, 471.5 ypg........Fla Atlantic -- #110, 479 ypg.

smokeygrowl writes:

in response to underthehill:

Expect Dogs to make first downs with run game..don't know if Vols can ..expect Dogs to pressure Bray..don't know if Vols can pressure Murray..

pure genius

CCLC writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

Snake, you just wrote an excellent article, nicely researched and supported. --- Refreshing.

I wouldn't sit here and say I'm confident that the Vols WILL upset the Dawgs, but I'm certainly not even penciling it in as a loss. The Vols have played stronger competition than the Dawgs overall, and statistically (on offense) have them even or better. I don't see the Dawgs' defense as the best our boys have faced this season so far (I'd give that nod to Florida), but I do see our defense as the best the Dawgs have faced so far, and our offense also the best their defense has faced.

This is going to be a good game, and I don't think either team is going to win by more than 10, unless somebody really has a bad day, and the ball always bounces the right way for one team and the wrong way for the other.

Rain came in early evening it will be back around game time. Just steady...... good day to have a viable running game.
just sayin'

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Expect Dogs to make first downs with run game..don't know if Vols can ..expect Dogs to pressure Bray..don't know if Vols can pressure Murray..

Think dawgs will make the Vegas line..not sure VOLS will

dgcarter43 writes:

Realistic posts: The Vols have an uphill battle against Georgia. I just read in the paper CDD's quote from pre season saying "You won't have Tn. to kick around anymore". He made another similar statement this week. He should wait until he proves he can win to make those kinds of speeches. As much as I like him as a person, I'm beginning to doubt his ability to win in the SEC.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

If Chaney was a better OC;I would say we win this one.. Ga and their defense is ripe for the picking..A really good OC would come into this game with at least 4 things GA hasn't seen..To sweeten the pot he would do things differently out of formations GA has been drilling in their heads watching film..[IE] lineup in Jumbo package then throw right over their heads to the FB or throw to the opposite side of the field while lined up in Chaney's patented 2 TE overstacked line to the right..Chaney's game plans are totally predictable best way to win is be unpredictable!!

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

If Chaney was a better OC;I would say we win this one.. Ga and their defense is ripe for the picking..A really good OC would come into this game with at least 4 things GA hasn't seen..To sweeten the pot he would do things differently out of formations GA has been drilling in their heads watching film..[IE] lineup in Jumbo package then throw right over their heads to the FB or throw to the opposite side of the field while lined up in Chaney's patented 2 TE overstacked line to the right..Chaney's game plans are totally predictable best way to win is be unpredictable!!

Expect a lot of surprises for this game, the Vols will be pulling out all the stops.

Vols win

Go Vols

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

Snake, you just wrote an excellent article, nicely researched and supported. --- Refreshing.

I wouldn't sit here and say I'm confident that the Vols WILL upset the Dawgs, but I'm certainly not even penciling it in as a loss. The Vols have played stronger competition than the Dawgs overall, and statistically (on offense) have them even or better. I don't see the Dawgs' defense as the best our boys have faced this season so far (I'd give that nod to Florida), but I do see our defense as the best the Dawgs have faced so far, and our offense also the best their defense has faced.

This is going to be a good game, and I don't think either team is going to win by more than 10, unless somebody really has a bad day, and the ball always bounces the right way for one team and the wrong way for the other.

Pretty accurate IMO. Don't know who will win the game, but I do think the Vols show up and play tough today. We shall see what happens.

fan_for_life writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

On the QB rating if you look at this year’s stats the edge goes to Bray, also look at the competition each team has played. This is why I say the Vols will win this game.

Murray and the Dawgs have played Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt and have an 66.3 completion % and 1092 yards. 10 TD and 2 Ints (Also has 3 rushing TDs) Ranked 12th in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... . He has been sacked 6 times

Bray and the Vols have played NC State, Georgia State, Fla and Akron and have an 63.5 completion % and 1301 yards. 12 TDs and 3 Ints, Ranked 3rd in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... Has been sacked 2 times.

Total offense UGA 8th and TN 11th http://espn.go.com/college-football/s...

Our running game has steadily improved this year each game we have had a higher rush total, so when you look the biggest item for this game is going to be if our defense plays to their ability, the defense so far has been hot and cold and very inconstant.But this is going to be the first game where we are not playing a spread offense and will be able to have our big 7 on the line.

I think this will be a very good game and the Vols have a chance to pull off a major upset. It will come down to if our defense can stop the Dawgs.

The Good thing is If the Vols due pull out the upset, Walt will disappear like he did after the NC State game.

Go Vols

Good post. Well thought out and analyzed.

beartn#223846 writes:

I think a better analysis would be Tennessee's passing game vs. Georgia's pass defense,DL vs OL, etc. Murray and Bray don't play each other. I still think Georgia gets the edge in most matchups. However, a QB could be better than the opposing QB, but that may not be an edge if the opposing secondary and pass rush are great, while the lesser QB is going against a poor defense. Position vs same position matchups only matter in fantasy football.

10SE writes:

in response to KingDanno:

Of course the game is winnable!
However, stats don't lie. Now earn your pay and get to work! Players make plays, but good SEC coaching develops those players into being able to make plays in any type of circumstance, and they do it without excuses and take responsibility for the losses, while giving credit during the wins. Peyton, after you win another super bowl, come on home. We need you.

Nice thought, but it aint gonna happen!

ooltewahorange writes:

Throw all the matchup stuff out. Do our boys want to become men today or not. It"s about getting nasty today and wanting it more than the Dawgs. Gotta dig deep and have some Tennessee pride!
GBO

TheFuj writes:

Against FL Bray completed around 62% when FL brought 4 rushers, but around 22% when 5 or more rushed the passer. Needs no drop passes as well. Have to make a team hurt when bringing the blitz, if not...well then you get another SEC loss.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

On the QB rating if you look at this year’s stats the edge goes to Bray, also look at the competition each team has played. This is why I say the Vols will win this game.

Murray and the Dawgs have played Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt and have an 66.3 completion % and 1092 yards. 10 TD and 2 Ints (Also has 3 rushing TDs) Ranked 12th in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... . He has been sacked 6 times

Bray and the Vols have played NC State, Georgia State, Fla and Akron and have an 63.5 completion % and 1301 yards. 12 TDs and 3 Ints, Ranked 3rd in QBs in the nation. http://espn.go.com/college-football/s... Has been sacked 2 times.

Total offense UGA 8th and TN 11th http://espn.go.com/college-football/s...

Our running game has steadily improved this year each game we have had a higher rush total, so when you look the biggest item for this game is going to be if our defense plays to their ability, the defense so far has been hot and cold and very inconstant.But this is going to be the first game where we are not playing a spread offense and will be able to have our big 7 on the line.

I think this will be a very good game and the Vols have a chance to pull off a major upset. It will come down to if our defense can stop the Dawgs.

The Good thing is If the Vols due pull out the upset, Walt will disappear like he did after the NC State game.

Go Vols

I agree with you about not playing against a spread offense, however, if you consider game result analysis, I think you are off. QB's don't play QB's, OL's don't play OL's. The schedule comparison is debatable. But, GA's win vs Mizzou was at Mizzou. The Tigers were hyped and emotional. They have a spread offense with a really good QB that can run. GA was down through the 3rd Qtr. Then, they shut down Mizzou and ran away. Now, the simple explanation is that SEC big men wore them down. But coming from behind in a road game is never easy.

The point is that GA and Richt have proven they can finish. Dooley and this team have not proven it. It's Knowing vs Thinking.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Once again you are correct about ONE thing.....

****head does in fact have Eight Letters! Keep up the good work, ****head.

WoodbineVOL writes:

something to GET EVERYONE GOING!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pux7C5...

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I bet you can't wait to turn 16 and get your drivers's license, right ButtChug? (8 letters)

Razzle writes:

Vols 37 - 35

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Razzle:

Vols 37 - 35

Eventually they will win a game of importance. Maybe not this year but somewhere in the future.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mighty .....haha....wait until the end of October and see how mighty the poodles are

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Not sure why everyone points to UGA's defense as a weakness. They allow 16ppg. That's without 1st team All-American Bicari Rambo and All-SEC calibur Alex Ogletree. Both will be back today. This is gonna be tough.

usnavyvolfan_on_duty writes:

Games aren't won on paper...they're won on the field. GBO,and kick some "a"!

TheVolSnake writes:

Speaking of Defense does West Virginia or Baylor have any? Over 1200 yards total offense in the 4th. (56 to 63) 10:49 left in 4th.

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