[title_box title=”Rocky Topics: Can Tennessee upset Georgia?”]
Co-written by David Bradford
This week on Rocky Topics, sports writers Allie Norris and David Bradford discuss the Georgia-Tennessee game.
Norris: It seems the Vols can’t stop running backs from getting yards or touchdowns. Georgia has a running back that can do all that and more and his name is Nick Chubb. If the Vols couldn’t stop Alex Collins last week how are they going to stop a running back who is even better?
Bradford: Well, we all know they have no chance against Chubb, who runs all over any defense he goes against. Chubb will get his yards and make impact plays. However, the Vols also have an effective rushing attack with Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara and Josh Dobbs. Georgia has the No. 7 rush defense in the SEC. Needless to say, both teams should have a field day on the ground. However, the Vols need to attack Georgia’s weakness, which is their quarterback play. If the Vols can make Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert perform like he did against Alabama, then the Vols will have a chance.
Norris: How are they going to get to the quarterback when they have allowed quarterbacks in the past to escape their tackles and make conversions? Also, Hurd and Kamara struggled last week to get yards against Arkansas, so how would they fair any better against a stronger defense? Dobbs didn’t get many yards either and was sacked multiple times in last week’s game. How is Tennessee’s offensive line going to protect Dobbs and make holes for Kamara and Hurd? Georgia will find Tennessee’s weakness, which is the defense, and they will use that to their advantage.
Bradford: I would disagree that Hurd and Kamara struggled last week. In the second half, they rarely saw opportunities because Arkansas controlled the ball. In addition, Dobbs threw the ball 36 times. The Vols will adjust this week and go to their strength, which is running the football with all three players. I would also like to mention that last season the Vols, with a less talented and experienced squad, went to Georgia and nearly pulled that game off, losing 35-32. Tennessee is a desperate team right now. A ton of people want Butch Jones gone and the Vols have developed a reputation as a mentally weak football team. They want to dispel that notion. Georgia, I believe, is demoralized after their performance against Alabama and will come into this game flat.
Norris: Hurd got tackled last week for a loss of yards and when Kamara was supposed to catch the ball and run it he ended up dropping it. Also, Dobbs may have thrown the ball 36 times last week, but it did nothing to get the Vols closer to winning the game. He struggled on third down. Also, the receivers kept dropping the ball. When Tennessee went down to Georgia with a young team last year, they had both Curt Maggitt and A.J. Johnson to help out on defense. But now they don’t have either. How will the defense step up against a Georgia offense that has a star running back, a play making quarterback and tight ends that can block and catch the ball?
Bradford: What people are forgetting is that the Vols could easily be 5-0 right now. They led Florida on the road 27-14 in the fourth quarter, the same Florida team that blew out No. 3 Ole Miss at home last week. As much as the Vols have been criticized for not being able to close out big games, Georgia also has a similar reputation. This is a huge game for both teams and I think the Vols will lower Dobbs’ passing attempts, use their running backs more, and give Greyson Lambert problems. In the last four games, the Vols have held opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of barely over 50 percent. Lambert will prevent Georgia’s offense from being productive, while the Vols will run all over the Bulldog’s No. 31 ranked rush defense and pull out this game to save their season.
Norris: I think Georgia will see that the Tennessee defense can’t stop their run game and will use that to their advantage by giving Chubb the ball and letting him run. Chubb will be a problem for Tennessee, especially with there being so many injuries that have weakened the defense. By the fourth quarter, the defense will be tired from being out on the field for so long. I believe that Georgia will use Chubb to run the ball all over the Vols and that even if they don’t run the ball very much, they can still throw it since Lambert has only thrown one interception since he became the starting quarterback for Georgia. The ‘Dawgs will beat Tennessee in a similar fashion in which Alabama beat them a week ago.
Featured image by Ben Ozburn
Edited by Cody McClure