It seems like Georgia has finally found their footing on offense. The Bulldogs enjoyed a 27-6 win over Auburn with the offense piling up 442 yards on offense against a stout Tigers defense. The quarterback situation seems to be handled for now with Stetson Bennett being the starting signal caller. Last week, Georgia’s rushing attack dominated the second half. The team ended up with 202 rushing yards, which was far better than the 121 gained against Arkansas the week before. Tennessee has had two strong showings this year, but against two weaker opponents. Jarrett Guarantono leads the Vols’ offense and hasn’t really yet played a complete game this season. Still, Georgia gets the edge here because they continued to show consistency on offense after their second half versus the Razorbacks.
Defense – Georgia
This is a no-brainer. Georgia’s defense picked up right where they left off last season continuing to dominate while they’re on the field. Arkansas was not able to move the ball against the Bulldogs in the season opener, despite one play in the first half on busted coverage. Tennessee’s defense gave up 290 passing yards against South Carolina in the season opener, while Georgia only gave up 280 yards total offense to Arkansas. Georgia’s defense was all over Auburn quarterback Bo Nix last week, so don’t expect that to change. The Vols are still trying to improve under second-year defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley while the program is in a rebuilding stage. This will be the first time the Vols will play a ranked offense this season, so expect there to be struggles.
Special Teams – Georgia
First-year special teams coordinator Scott Cochran has his team in a groove to start off the season, so the Bulldogs get the edge because of their hot start. Georgia punter Jake Camarda played arguably one of the best games of his career against Arkansas, punting seven times for an average of 49.9 yards (second nationally) and for a 47.0 net (fourth nationally) during the Bulldogs’ 37-1. He dropped five of those balls at the 11-yard line or better and had a long of 63 yards. It seems like the Bulldogs have found a great punter returner in Kearis Jackson as well. On the hand, Vols placekicker Brent Cimaglia has struggled out of the gate. He hit one of two fields against South Carolina, with a long of 27-yards. Both Camiglia and Brooks are uber talented, but Georgia’s special teams as a whole are firing on all cylinders.
Coaching – Georgia
This a tough choice because these two staffs are very familiar with one another, and both programs have great coaches on each sideline. Although, the Bulldogs have the slight advantage here. The Georgia coaching staff is really well-rounded from top to bottom, even though Smart has lost some assistant coaches in the past couple of years. Georgia is also a few miles ahead of where Tennessee wants to be, in regards to being a national championship contender every year. Still, Jeremy Pruitt is still building his program and is doing a fantastic job. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney still seems to be working well with the offense, and Derrick Ansley is the right fit at defensive coordinator
Overall – Georgia
There is a reason Georgia is ranked ahead of Tennessee. The Bulldogs are coming off three straight 11-1 seasons while the Vols are still trying to rebuild their program. Georgia has one of the best defenses in the country as their offense is still trying to improve under first year offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Tennessee has some playmakers on offense, but need to realize that Guarantano is not the answer at quarterback. The Bulldogs will have the upperhand when their defense is on the field, and should be able to stuff the Vols’ run game led by Ty Chandler. South Carolina’s Collin Hill was able to throw all over the Vols’ secondary, so expect Monken to let it fly on Saturday. Unless Georgia’s offense struggles, this should go the Bulldogs way.