Vols, ‘Dawgs Tangle Between the Hedges
In a game that might go a ways toward deciding who represents the East Division in the SEC championship game this season the 3-1 Tennessee Volunteers pay a visit on the 4-0 Georgia Bulldogs Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm ET, CBS).
As of Thursday morning most college football odds boards were listing Georgia at -14 for Saturday’s game.
The Bulldogs returned 16 starters, including QB Aaron Murray and nine on defense, from a team that went 10-4 last year. UGA then opened this season with a 45-23 victory over Buffalo, then opened SEC play with a 41-20 win at new SEC member Missouri. Georgia then breezed by Florida Atlantic 56-20, and last week beat Vandy 48-3.
So the Bulldogs are off to their best start since starting 4-0 four years ago, and they’re 2-0 in SEC play.
Tennessee, meanwhile, returned 19 starters, including QB Tyler Bray, four along the offensive line and nine on defense, from a team that went 5-7 last year. The Vols opened this season with a solid 35-21 victory over North Carolina State, then dispatched of Georgia State (FCS) 51-13. But the Vols then opened SEC play with a 37-20 loss at home to Florida. Tennessee led that game 20-13 in the third quarter but allowed the Gators to score the last 24 points.
Last week the Vols stepped back out of SEC play to defeat Akron 47-26 behind 401 passing yards from Bray and 151 yards rushing from Rajion Neal. But they didn’t come close to covering the spread as 31-point favorites.
So the Vols are 0-1 in SEC play going into Saturday’s game.
Georgia has won the last two games in this series. Last year, in Knoxville, the Bulldogs ran for 139 yards and held Tennessee to 22 rushing yards (excluding sacks) in winning 20-12.
The ‘over/under’ on Saturday’s game started off earlier this week at around 61, but by Thursday that number had been bet down to as low as 57.5 at some CFB betting outlets.