… here’s one more, from Bill Connelly ($$).
First, if Tennessee is able to hang a solid point total on the Dawgs’ defense, it could bring back some of the demons of 2020, when Georgia got forced into track meets by Alabama and Florida, and Bennett pressed and made some crippling errors trying to keep up. Second, the Vols could force him to throw more than he would prefer when behind schedule. Granted, the Dawgs rank first nationally in passing downs success rate — Bennett has some of the best “catch up to the chains” playmakers in college football. But in the three games in which he was pressured most often on dropbacks (Missouri, Florida and, strangely, Kent State), he went just 9-for-24 passing and took quite a few hits. Tennessee doesn’t sack the quarterback a ton, but ranks ninth in blitzes per dropback and 11th in pressure rate.
If Byron Young and the Vols’ pass rush can get to Bennett semi-frequently, the calculus of this game changes quite a bit. If Bennett can throw from a mostly clean pocket, however, the Dawgs will likely roll. His weapons are strong and unique, and even with last week’s dominance of Kentucky, Tennessee still ranks 87th in passing success rate allowed and 55th in raw QBR allowed.
I think there’s something to that. If you’re Josh Heupel and you believe your offense is going to put points up, even if not as prolifically as it did against Alabama, why wouldn’t you be as aggressive on defense as Missouri was against Georgia?
Georgia’s offensive line has been playing its best football of the season at the right time. They’ll sure need to keep on keeping on tomorrow.