Georgia-Tennessee preview: a reluctant admission

Lord knows, I’ve tried to avoid coming to this conclusion, but I can’t deny it (and the football god of hubris will probably make me regret it).

I feel good about Georgia’s chances tomorrow.  Real good.  Not just to win, but to cover the spread.  Comfortably.

It’s not because I think after four games Georgia has become some sort of unstoppable colossus.  As confident as I feel about tomorrow’s outcome, I’m that nervous about what will happen a week from then in Columbia.  But that’s because South Carolina has two things Tennessee doesn’t have –  a credible running threat in Marcus Lattimore and a scary defensive front.

It seems to me that, stripping away all the statistical comparisons, assuming that Georgia won’t be in sleep mode given the profile of the game and the return of Ogletree and Rambo, and putting aside the any given Saturday threat of Georgia going minus-four in turnover margin, for Tennessee to have a legitimate chance to win this game, it has to be able to answer two questions in the affirmative:

  1. Can the Vols run the ball as well as the Dawgs?
  2. Can the Vols stop the run as well as the Dawgs?

Sorry, but I don’t see it.

On the first question, if it happens, it’ll be a first for a Derek Dooley-coached Tennessee team.  If you want to argue that the Vols’ rushing stats would look better in comparison to Georgia’s because the Dawgs haven’t faced a team with a defense as good as Florida’s, I think that’s the point.  Tennessee doesn’t rush well against good defenses.  Shoot me, but I think Georgia qualifies as having a good defense.

On the second question, whatever misgivings I had on that were due to the Georgia offensive line.  Maybe I’m reading way too much from my replay viewings of the Vandy game, but for the first time in a long while, I see a Georgia team that can run the ball credibly between the tackles.  And, yeah, Tennessee has a big ‘un in the middle, but he’s playing in a defense that’s still trying to figure its way around a new scheme.  Florida gashed these guys for 336 yards on the ground, and while some of that was on quarterback runs and an 80-yard scamper by Trey Burton, Gillislee managed 115 yards of his own and averaged over six yards a carry.  I don’t think the Vols can hold up against the Georgia troika at running back.

I love Justin Hunter.  He’s the best wide receiver in the SEC as far as I’m concerned.  And I can see why Mark Richt badly wanted Patterson.  Tennessee’s got a couple of other good receiving options for Tyler Bray.  But that’s not going to decide the game.  Instead, the team that has to bring a safety in for run support tomorrow loses.  And I don’t think that’ll be Georgia.  I think Grantham will be able to keep his guys back, hold UT’s passing game in front of them and wait for Jarvis and the rest of the defensive front to get to Bray.  (Any time you want to go into beast mode, Cornelius, feel free to do so.)

Readers, don’t hate me because they’re pretty.  I can’t help myself.  And believe me, I tried.

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85 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

85 responses to “Georgia-Tennessee preview: a reluctant admission

  1. kckd

    Their big guy doesn’t get much penetration though. And they haven’t exactly gone up against a great line yet.

  2. Chuck

    We all are thinking the same thing, Senator, but actually say it out loud? I guess I have time to think of a way to counter this jinx.👺

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      No sweat Chuck, I got that…there is a process for countering kool aid induced hubris….me and them what understands the danger of song of the Kharmic Bitches are all over it.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        So….proper fandom requires, then, more prayer, less braggadocio?

        • rugbydawg79

          Yes SJ3– in Mac’s words “Don’t stumble stay Humble” these words should become the teams motto all year ! I am thinking about writing a Devotion around these words !—by the way stay away from the voo-doo–you are already in the enemys sights

          • Macallanlover

            Actually, that phrase in reverse may be the reason for our solid,consistent play, and why they may not stumble. I feel this team is really a “team”, not a collection of “I’s”. The collective strength is so much more than a talented group of individuals can ever each operating on their own.

            I think this team is humble, and it shows by the lack of trash talking on the field and the genuine celebrations among each other. I know they all have their individual goals but perhaps they can best realize them by getting the team’s accomplishments to bring the spotlight to them. Whatever it is, it feels good…..and it looks even better.

  3. Mike

    Georgia covers. Bray pouts.

    Next week is a doozy. Florida plays LSU and UGA plays USCe.

  4. Answer to question 1. NO, Answer to question 2. NO. We could never hate you Senator. They are pretty!

  5. For us to not be a favorite, Vandy and Mizz have to have been very bad, and I just don’t see it. Vandy played USC close, very close. Maybe the jury is still out on Mizz with their troubles on OL, but they seemed to be a decent but maybe not good team. Meanwhile the jury is still out on Florida to a similar extent, though you have to presume UF beats Mizz.

    The only way this gets ugly for us is if Aaron has bad Aaron show up (What i call the Harry Potter effect), and the defense gives up lots of big plays.

    Bottom line, Ut is not a well coached team. That’ll always kill you.

  6. Billy Mumphrey

    I wish I had your confidence.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      People think being a college football fan should be fun. It depends on what you mean by fun. Being a Fan of the Blood, if you will allow me, is hard damn work. Some of us understand the hard work, the deep worry, the fretting are all both necessary and important. At the end of the hunt, if we worry hard, follow Munson’s Principles and pick the right hat, we have fun.

      Trust your hat, Billy.

      Clear eyes, Full hearts.

  7. The Lone Stranger

    Bet everything you’ve got on this one, boys! And, of course, I mean in a ‘giving-the-points’ posture.

  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    All the Senator’s points are well chosen and accurate up to a point.

    The reason college football is dear to our hearts is that college football is a game, that at times transcends talent. A game where just wanting it worse can change an outcome.

    All us members of the Munson Brotherhood add to the want, stiff arm the Kharmic Bitches, pancake hubris and at the end of the day, if we work hard and Georgia wins, if nobody else believes, what matter is that?

    We are the Anti-Kool Aid, and we worry like Dawgs with a bone.

  9. Cojones

    The prognosis is based on good studies of the players and the team track record thus far this season. Of course. But your diagnosis is based on numerous worries that have been assumed by one of our own.

    Scorp, like many of us, trusts in your fence wavering because that is part of your role, but you have ventured into the game call, the Swami Sell or as some would call it, the pre dick shun. Those 3 words cobbled together with the numerous worries expressed may crush Scorpio, 3P’s brother. I’m afraid, Senator, that you have ventured into the fragile psyche of a man who has devoted his blog time to lifting the burden of guilt that we feel when we get high on nearly every aspect of this team and predict victory.

    My butt-chugging Pike Brothers, other bloggers and I stand by as an emergency calming force to be drawn on at any time Scorp ventures into this maelstorm that you have created. Hope we may be in time to catch his fall with our fainting couch. And our Mayan brothers have a sleepytime enema already prepared.

  10. Connor

    I sure hope you’re right, Senator. This game scares me. Their propensity for the big play through the air and our deficiency so far this season in that department make me think they’ll get at least a couple of scores. And our offense, as good as it was last week and against our cupcakes, is far from proven. If we start slow and they pop a big play early I can see this thing devolving into an ugly game, just like 2004.

  11. Russ

    I feel the same way, Senator, and I’m almost embarrassed/scared/ashamed to say it out loud.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I, for one, find that a very healthy attitude….how’s yer hat?

      • Russ

        I’m wearing my proper shirt today. I’ll pick my game shirt and underwear tomorrow before camping out in front of the TV. I want to see Russ/Uga 9 “on top” of ol’ Smokey tomorrow! Woof!

  12. Rebar

    I think if we come out focused like we did for Vandy, it will be a long afternoon for Tennessee. That first drive by Vandy last week reminded me of us at the beginning of last season; jumping offsides, going backwards before ever getting a play off. I feel our team should come out fired up and ready to rumble and we dominate Tennessee, and then get ready for next week.

    • paul

      I believe focus, not talent is the primary issue in this game. The Senator is correct to point out that we have generally superior talent and more of it. But if Georgia is looking ahead to next week, by the time we get back to the locker room at the half to make adjustments we may already be in some deep doo doo. Tennessee is not completely devoid of weapons. If they are hungry for that signature win that keeps Dooley employed and redeems their reputation for at least the near future, this week is it for them. It’s clearly a trap game for Georgia. You know I’m not saying anything Larry wouldn’t say.

  13. I, like the Good Senator, am having a hard time coming to grips with my feelings about Georgia really being better on both sides of the ball than Tennessee. I really feel like Georgia is three touchdowns better than Tennessee. Since that couldn’t possibly be right, I had to go looking for something like statistical computer simulations to disprove my feelings. And, this is what I found. My fears have been validated. The computers say they are only 20 points better.

    Now, understandably, this game will not take place in a vacuum. Turnovers, penalties, etc. could have a devastating impact on the outcome. But, Tennessee will need to get lucky in both categories to beat Georgia. If Old Lady Luck could just not show UT favor on a Saturday when the Munson Radio Suite is christened, then Georgia wins comfortably… not rest the starters in the 4th quarter comfortably, but comfortably.

  14. toggle

    Munson just rolled over in his grave …

  15. Chuck

    For those of you who wax optimistic – what if Penn Wagers is working the game? We’re screwed if’n he’s on the field.

  16. JCB

    I bet a lot of teams would play as well as UGA has against the schedule you’ve played for the last season and a half.

    • Which schedule includes Tennessee. ;)

      • ScoutDawg

        Man, he makes it easy to want to bring the wood. I bet he is a PKA.

        • Cojones

          Leave my Pike Brothers alone and out of this. Similating the Mayan culture is not an unusual endeavor in college. Using wine instead of hot pot ladled up the intestines is a modern methodology to conjure up visions quickly. It’s rumored that they saw Jarvis eating a roast leg of Bray.

    • Beer Money

      So Alabama vs. overrated Michigan, WKU, horrible Arkansas, and Fla Atlantic, South Carolina in a squeeker vs. Vandy, UAB, ECU, and Mizz and LSU vs. horrible Auburn plus their cast of nobodies is infinitely more tougher than what UGA has played, common opponents and all.

      See you next weekend sweetheart. Or is it Thanksgiving weekend with you. Gotta be one of the two.

  17. Matt Sikes

    That’s it. We’re doomed.

  18. Macallanlover

    I have attempted to weigh every factor that should affect the outcome of the game, attempting to be as balanced as possible (even going to other teams’ sites to see their perception is different), and I can only come up with one edge for UT….they need it more. I am not minimizing how dangerous that factor can be if we aren’t aware of their desperation, but this game looks all UGA. And that is not factoring in any positives for Tree or Rambo. One school’s picks on the spread was 15-3 to take UGA and give the points. We have gotten the respect we asked for, time to show if “it is our time”. The others are tough enough so you have to win all the games where you are just simply better. That gives the chance to achieve your goals…no regrets.

    I fully acknowledge turnovers, Big Mo, bad calls, lack of focus, “any given Saturday”, etc, can bring about the UT upset but this game is ours unless we give it away. We have done so a couple of times with UT in the past decade, but I feel really good about the game, and especially this team.

  19. ScoutDawg

    Feel confident about the game but that is not it. I just feel CONFIDENT that win or lose this team WILL SHOW UP.

  20. Dave

    We’re going to destroy them tomorrow. We do not have Willie as DC and Tennessee is much worse than people think. 2 touchdowns minimum and it could really get ugly.

  21. Brandon

    You just need to go back and add “for the glory of the glory of the Sunsphere” to the end of the post and you’ll be fine.

  22. Destroy is a negative word. Let’s say annihilate, in the informal sense, overwhelm completely.

  23. Rebar

    What I would like to see is our defense going after Bray from the first whistle; nothing dirty, but hit him every play you can. Bray gets rattled pretty easily and doesn’t have the mental toughness to inspire the offense (see 2nd half of their last game). I hope Coach Grantham tells Jarvis and some of our other big fellas to get after Bray; we get him hearing footsteps and there won’t be any long pass completions.

  24. I think Scorpio is getting to me. I’m starting to worry.

  25. Slaw Dawg

    Really, I’ve been rapidly casting off my Larry/Vince pre game fret habits this season, so, what the Hell, I’m all in, too. You think it’s bad having JJ I bulldozing your center and guard backwards while you just know you hear JJ II making ready to slap the ball out of your hands? That’s just how the nightmare starts. With Tree and Rambo back, it will get downright ugly for Bray.

    And I don’t know if we’ve quite grasped the full magnitude of what Gurshall (plus the ever sturdy Mr. Malcome) has brought to the offense, and what that means for the passing game. But the UT D will find out.

    Yeah, I remember when Quincy Carter was gonna kill them and didn’t. I remember the post LSU let down game. I was there for the 2 inexplicable beatdowns in K’ville. But UGA’s win is not gonna be close, boys and girls. Not close at all.

    • Dave

      Quincy? The guy who couldn’t hit water from a boat???? And I believe the beatdowns you refer to were very much explained by the firing of our former DC. 2004 is really the only headscratcher in this series in the last 12 years. 2007 hurt —- a LOT — but that wasn’t exactly the only time we saw a Martinez defense completely unprepared for the game…..Grantham is prepared. Our QB is NOT Quincy. Tennessee is the team with many more weaknesses this year.

  26. Cojones

    Senator, for your efforts in adventuring into the Chrystal Cojone projections, I am entering your name into contention for the OBB Cojones Award. This new and permanent installation for posterity, The Order of the Brass Balls, awaits the outcome of this game. Good luck.

  27. Junebugjam

    Love that you worked “troika” into this post.

  28. Dboy

    Noooo, senator, nooooo! Well we WERE going to win until this post! You have broken the first 3 rules of Munson.

    First rule of Munson: Dont talk about winning.
    Second rule of Munson: DON’T TALK ABOUT WINNING.
    Third rule of Munson: If it is your first time talking about winning, DON’T EVER TALK ABOUT WINNING AGAIN!!!

  29. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Senator, I agree with what you said in your post above which is a longer version of what I said earlier in the week.

  30. My biggest question is: Can the Dawgs score more than 40 points for the fifth straight week ?. Dawgs 41 – Vols 24. GO DAWGS. GATA..

  31. This group of UGA players 2012 have less of those “How about ME?, How about my STATS? It is more likely the return of those draft eligible defensive folks that surely made the difference. This is group that will fight to the last second of any game. And that is why they will win.

  32. 3 AM Eternal

    The one thing that distinguishes this team from all the others since the glory days of Herschel (Belue, Walker, Hoage), the 2002 team with Musa (Greene, Smith, Pollack), a troika of its own in 05 (Shockley, [Brown, Ware, Lumpkin], Blue), and 08 with (Stafford, Moreno, Curran), is a Gurley man named Todd, along with a Junkyard D (Erk, Van Gorder, Grantham), and an experienced QB (Murray, Gurley, Jones). Now let’s not get carried away here. There is a simulcramonious harmony blowing through the arches and around the bell tower, it’s hinges aren’t all that Russ-ty. But we appear to have a guy you could feasibly chunk it to every, heaven-forbid, offensive play of the game. “Toss sweep to Gurley on the left, Gonna pitch it to Gurley on the right, Murray hands it up the middle to Gurley, he’s got 5, and he breaks a tackle, got 10, to the 35, 40, 45, 50, there goes Gurley, there goes Gurley!” Sound familiar?

    Again, let’s be reasonable. But let’s also realize that Willie is free, there are no more crybabies behind the pistol, we have so much firepower through the air it’s uneffing believable and, at the very same time, unnecessary, and a quarterback who’s pulling all nighters studying the X and O’s so he can silence all the he-hasn’t-won-a-big-game and he-hasn’t-beaten-a-ranked-team haters, and a coach, let’s take a deep breath here, a coach, who is fighting all that sin inside. That anger, that rage, that pride. This coach is sick and tired of hearing it. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. He’s mad as hell and he ain’t gonna take it no more.

    But I’m telling you boys, Gurley will injure you. He will…’cut’ you. And I can here all of you now, “Well you couldn’t just give it to him every play against a defense like Bama, they’d just key on him and plug the corners and gaps.” Really? Did you see that stiff arm last Saturday? It won’t happen obviously but I’d love to see it, and would bet on it with that speed, and that talent, and “those big thighs,” he’d break one, or two, or three or more if you gave it to him 40 or 50 times.

    But that’s the beauty, and the point. We don’t need to. These Dawgs are a team…finally. And these dogs can hunt. Now GATA. Make us all proud. Sic ‘em. Woof Woof Woof.

    • rugbydawg79

      Dang it Man–that fired me up–got my picture of UGA 3 next to the TV

      • 3:49 C

        Got mine too. It’s my Mona Lisa. One thing I realized in rereadition is that there is a commonality between all these championship teams, troika, trifecta, tertiarity, triumvirate….wait that’s too many, what I see is that when we’ve won championships, we’ve had an experienced QB, a strong tailback, and an All American on D (Exception Curran).

  33. Careful Brad

    Let’s not forget the obvious here folks, Florida beats Tennessee = Gators are back!
    Dawgs beat Tennessee = Georgia plays nobody!

    • Mudcat's Impala....

      Mudcat will be peddling a Huffy & taking off the underpinning & putting the wheels back on my home if the Dawgs lose Saturday….

      Betting the hacienda, the Chevy & my hot tub on UGA, laying 14…

      Lookin’ for a home in E. Cobb with my winnings… :-)

  34. John From Texas

    What’s worrisome is South Cack looms and Tenn. has yet to claim a signature win under Derek Dooley … and they’re due for one.

  35. Turd Ferguson

    As with most things Georgia football-related these days: I’ll believe it when I see it.