I have not come to bury Tennessee…

Okay, I don’t want to make the same mistake I’m concerned the team might make of taking Tennessee too lightly, so let’s look at a couple of areas of legitimate concern, via Bill Connelly.

First, despite being hobbled by injuries, there’s one area where the Vol defense has excelled, and it’s something a team with a rookie quarterback should be a little nervous about.

Despite the loss of star end Derek Barnett, however, UT is still getting after the quarterback. Their passing-downs sack rate of 17.5 percent is tied with Washington State’s for tops in the country. Senior linebacker Colton Jumper has 3.5 sacks and 5.5 TFLs to lead the way.

UMass quarterbacks Andrew Ford and Ross Comis attempted 15 passing-downs passes on Saturday; they were sacked five times and completed just 4 of 10 passes. Net yards on those 15 attempts: 6. The pass rushed saved Tennessee’s bacon.

As a counter, there’s another stat Bill cites that likely points the way to a repeat of what Georgia did to great success last week:  The defense is allowing at least five yards on 45 percent of opponent carries (120th in FBS). That’s one way to take pressure off Fromm in his first conference road start.

Part two is John Kelly, who gets my vote as the SEC’s best running back in 2017.  As Bill points out, with over 80% of the team’s combined carries and pass targets, Kelly is the centerpiece of Tennessee’s offense, and with good reason.

He’s not the fastest back in the world, but as that stat indicates, he’s a real bear to bring down.  Georgia’s newfound competency in tackling is going to be given a work out.

That is, assuming Booch decides to use Kelly effectively.  Given the questionable strategy of only running Kelly once on Tennessee’s three trips inside the Florida twenty in the Vols’ loss to the Gators, you can’t entirely dismiss the possibility that he won’t.  Of course, Georgia could simply stomp out to a comfortable lead and take that decision out of Booch’s hands, which would be fine with me.  In any event, you have to think stopping Kelly is Job One for Smart and Tucker as they put together this week’s defensive game plan.

Georgia is on a two-game losing streak with the Vols, which is something else to consider as the game approaches.  It wouldn’t be smart to take anything for granted in Knoxville.

41 Comments

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

41 responses to “I have not come to bury Tennessee…

  1. Mayor

    We make fun of the guy but Bootch is 2-2 in 4 games against Georgia. What does that say about us?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CPark58

    If we come out a blow the doors off of Tennessee like we should I will buy in that that we are a brand new program. With that said, UGA wins but doesn’t cover as Tennessee gives their death rattle and settles in for winter, again. I have to think that Booch gambled and went for broke spending 2 weeks prepping for UGA, thus the narrow win in the UMass game.

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  3. Jim

    We learn more about our team and where our program is / is going every week and this one is no different. Donnan < Richt. Hopefully Richt < Smart

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    • Cousin Eddie

      Donnan < Early Richt, Donnan ~= late Richt, Hopefully Early Richt < Smart and Smart stays that way. If Richt had of stayed on track of the first few years he would still be in Athens with a statue or two but he seemed to fall to the GA way. That’s the way I have felt about Richt and his UGA career.

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      • Mayor

        CMR fell victim to bad D specifically Willie and Grantham. The irony was he got fired after having finally gotten a good D.C. Who looked like he was curing the problem.

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        • Cousin Eddie

          But then hired an OC that couldn’t tell a run play from a side salad. And with Pruitt gone after calling out McG iced his cake.

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  4. Biggus Rickus

    I’d be interested to know what their sack rate was on passing downs in the other three games, because 33% against the worst pass protecting team in college football might be skewing the number just a tad. UMASS was allowing 5.5 sacks a game against Hawaii, Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion and Temple. UT picked up 7 of their 10 total sacks on the season Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Greg

    Can’t get a feel on this game…. would not be surprised if we blow them out or it is another tight game going either way. Probably more of the latter. One thing is for sure, they are gonna stack the box and make Fromm beat them. Kelly is also gonna be tough, that is one tough/determined SOB…hard to bring down. Gonna be tough on a freshman in that loud stadium.

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  6. SemperFiDawg

    Senator, you have the worst case of Munsonitis I have ever seen. As a stat man, and considering who UT has played (where those stats came from) I would have expected a better immune response.
    Umass held the Vols to about 50 yards rushing in the second half. Umass.

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  7. Mdcgtp

    Another Bill C out of context gem.

    UT got 7 sacks against UMass, and 3 in the other three games. U Mass has given up 30 sacks in 5 games. So they were basically averaging 4 per game before UT.

    I have some worries about this week. Colton Jumper getting pressure is not one of them.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That sack rate stat seems inflated by one game against Umass. Any idea what Tenn did against Florida?

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    • mdcgtp

      2 sacks and 28 pass attempts. Franks had 6 rushing attempts, which means it is possible they got pressure on some percentage of 4 other carries, which could have been scrambling or designed runs.

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  9. AusDawg85

    Wonder if Eason can roll out on that gimpy knee?

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  10. W Cobb Dawg

    “I have not come to bury Tennessee…”

    By all means Dawgs, go ahead and bury tennessee! Beating msu in dramatic fashion was great. But it’s time to establish our bonafides by whuppin the sec east.

    If this team is truly well coached we should go through the division schedule like a hot knife through butter. No more face plants, screw ups, excuses, etc., etc.

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  11. dawgman3000

    The only thing that concerns me about this game is the teams psych after the hype of their big win last week. As for the concern about John Kelly, I’m sure Mr. Trent Thompson, Mr. Roquan Smith, and Mr. J.R. Reed cant wait to give him a proper greeting.

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  12. I get it…we’re still hung up on the Georgia Way but it seems fairly obvious that SMART is doing what he can to avoid this. We may lose but I don’t see it being because we overlooked someone.

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  13. Damn! Smart spent a decade with the man who never overlooked anyone and was the consummate details guy. I mean we’ve got starters We have had playing time limited because they hadn’t yet fully accepted the new way. I’m not really worried about having our heads in the right place.

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  14. CB

    Kelly is definitely the best back in the SEC. He’s my only real concern.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Kelly’s their best player and a very good running back, but Georgia and Alabama have several backs I’d take ahead of him. I think Guice is ultimately a better running back, too.

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      • CB

        Might want to rewatch that Florida game, he was completely unstoppable. Until Butch stopped him that is

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        • Cojones

          FU’s D isn’t quite up to their standards of the past few years, although I expect them to get better as the season goes on.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Yes, I watched the game. My statement stands.

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          • CB

            Stands as incorrect

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            • Biggus Rickus

              Okay…

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              • CB

                Kelly pretty much doubles the yards from scrimmage of any of those that you compared him to, and he is doing so at 6.4 ypc which ties Nick Chubb, the only one with a higher ypc is Harris at Bama. Kelly doesn’t have the luxury of running behind the kind of o line that they have in Tuscaloosa.. or Athens for that matter.

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                • Biggus Rickus

                  Actually, he’s averaging 5.56 ypc. What you credited him with was his ypt, rushing + receiving yards/carries + receptions. I’m aware of his stats. He’s very good. And if I was building a team, I’d still take Chubb, Michel, Swift, Scarbrough, Harris and Guice over him.

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                • CB

                  This is America, you have the right to be incorrect, and I support that, but at the end of the day I don’t think you really know your stuff. None of your guys break tackles like Kelly. Stop watching SC6.

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  15. Cojones

    We should be as wary of Tenn (“they will give us their best game”) as we were of MSU, only more so, simply because they are good athletes performing before an aroused home crowd. They are anxious to prove that they are worthy of the preseason hype that had them riding so high in their own minds.

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  16. Stoopnagle

    Please not a repeat of 2007… please not a repeat of 2004… please not a repeat of 2015…

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  17. Cousin Eddie

    I expect #3 will introduce himself to Mr. Kelly early and often.

    And I also expect Chubb not to be on a pitch count and go for as many yards and touches as he wants to get the last part of that ghost off his back.

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  18. Yurdle

    Tennessee has lost their top three inside linebackers, I think. While the injuries suck, that seems like something this team should be able to exploit. If their center can’t go, that will give them trouble in the middle on both sides of the ball.

    We should win.

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