OFFENSIVE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
This week is like every other week, the Bulldogs want to be able to run at will and pass when they need to. Georgia’s ability to make explosive plays ultimately gave them the edge over Tennessee. Jake Fromm is 50-69 for 739 yards and nine touchdowns. Look for Mecole Hardman to continue his success as he’s scored in each of the four games. He’s one of Fromm’s go-to guys and poses a threat every time he touches the ball.
Tennessee, like most other SEC schools, wants to establish the running game. The Volunteers average 205 yards on the ground and have gotten in the end zone 10 times. However, if Tennessee cannot get its running game going, Jarrett Guarantano will have to make plays in the air. He’s completed 46-72 passes for 658 yards and two touchdowns. If Tennessee wants to win this one in Athens, he’ll have to have the game of his career.
DEFENSIVE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
The Bulldogs rank as the No. 7 scoring defense as they are giving up just 13.3 points a game. Georgia has the No. 12 total defense allowing 292.3 total yards. Teams average 4.31 yards a play. However, it’s the ability to cause turnovers that allows Georgia to snag the defense Dawg Bone so easily. The Bulldogs have intercepted the ball four different times with one of those resulting in a touchdown. They average around 1.25 a game. Tennessee has a -3 turnover margin, which ranks 12th in the SEC.
Despite the Bulldogs ability to cause turnovers, they must hunker down and stop the run. The Volunteers average 205 yards a game on the ground. Georgia must find a way to stop the run and force Guarantano to throw the ball as the Volunteers only have three passing touchdowns on the season. D’Andre Walker leads the team with three sacks and seems hungry for more. Guarantano has a target on his back and Walker is coming for it.
SPECIAL TEAMS DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Rodrigo Blankenship continues to keep opponents pushed back in their own territories. Blankenship is 6-8 on field goals and has 30 touchbacks on the season. He has made 111 consecutive PATs and is on pace to beat Blair Walsh’s 119. Blankenship’s name will likely be at the top of most of the special teams records after this season if he keeps at this pace.
COACHING DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Kirby Smart demands his team to give 110 percent each week and nothing short of it. He has this group of players buying into his process. Smart will continue his Dawg Bones streak until his team cannot overcome adversity or if Georgia loses its composure. Those are two things that will likely not happen. He must keep his guys heads straight this week and not let them overlook a Tennessee team hungry to get its first SEC victory.
OVERALL DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Georgia gets the overall Dawg Bone against Tennessee because of the crowd, the depth and sheer determination it possesses. The Bulldogs home crowd needs to be loud and stay loud all game long. After last week, expect Georgia to come out guns blazing and destroy everything in its path. Georgia’s on a mission and Tennessee is its next victim.