Tennessee (4-0, 1-0) at Georgia (3-1, 1-1)
When: Saturday, October 1st 2016
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Time: 3:30 ET | TV: CBS
The Tennessee Volunteers will look to ride the momentum of their comeback win over Florida last week when they visit the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. The Vols, who have been outscored 38-10 in the first quarter this season, rallied from 21 points down to beat the Gators 38-28 last week to grab first place in the SEC East. Tennessee will look to extend it’s winning streak to 11 games dating back to last season – their longest streak since winning 14 in a row in 1998-99. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs ripped Florida’s highly-rated defense for a career-best 319 yards passing and four touchdowns in winning SEC offensive player of the week honors. Dobbs has also rushed for at least 80 yards in each of the Volunteers’ first four games. The Volunteers have five touchdown drives of one minute or less, and average 1:54 on their 16 offensive touchdown drives this season. Defensive end Derek Barnett earned SEC defensive player of the week honors after recording two sacks, three tackles for a loss and a batted pass.
Georgia was humiliated last week by Ole Miss 45-14 as they allowed the Rebels to gain 510 yards of total offense and losing star running back Nick Chubb to an ankle injury. Chubb, who suffered a devastating left knee injury early in last season’s 38-31 loss at Tennessee, rushed for 57 yards on 12 carries last week before leaving. If Chubb cannot play, Brian Herrien (78 yards last week) and Sony Michel (66 yards) will have to pick up the running game to help out quarterback Jacob Eason. The freshman quarterback struggled in his second road start last week, completing only 16-of-36 passes and throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Georgia converted only 4-of-16 third-down attempts against Ole Miss and will need to do better in order to keep up with Tennessee. A loss Saturday will all but eliminate the Bulldogs from a potential SEC East crown.
I don’t like to lay points on the road in the SEC, but Tennessee is riding high and Georgia is a bunch of wounded dogs right now. The Vols might have started the season out a little slow, but they are still 4-0 and playing much better. The injury to Chubb is big even if he can play and Eason seems a bit overwhelmed right now. I’ll take the Vols.
Pick: Tennessee -3.5