Georgia @ Tennessee Stat & Score Predictions
3:30p, CBS
Posted: 9-30-2017, 9:30:42 AM
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Unfortunately for everyone involved, our beloved Tennessee Volunteers football program has become a total fecal blizzard. Butch Jones and the powers that be have let the bad losses of the past 3 years combined with the media disaster that is our head coach spiral into a standing national sports media joke. Fiascoes like Champions of Life, feuds with local media members, the Florida not Hail Mary, and needing an injury to the UMass starting QB to hang on to a narrow victory over potentially the worse team in Division I-A will do that to you.

All signs point to this being the last season of the Butch Jones tenure, regardless of whether we end up 3-9 or 11-1. Let's hope it's the latter, which would keep our HC job appealing and our recruiting class intact. But, whether it's a firing or Butch pulling a Cuonzo, Jones is walking the Big Orange Mile.

Either way, like Beano said, it's a win-win.

On to the Georgia game.

This series is one of the oddest in my mind. So many upsets, surprising score lines and, since Mark Richt was hired (and subsequently encouraged to move back home to Miami), largely without streaks. Tight games when blowouts are expected and vice versa appear to be the norm rather than the exception, and it seems the favorite only wins about half the time. Vegas has us as a touchdown dog at home, meaning they think Georgia is about 10 points better than our Vols. The Eastside Dawgs are coming off an impressive victory over the Westside Dawgs. The Vols are coming off...well, I'm not sure what you call that pile of slop I witnessed on Saturday...a hangover?

I could realistically foresee many different scenarios, but here are a couple that seem most likely to me:

1) Coming off a beatdown of a pretty good Mississippi State team, Georgia has a letdown game against a team that isn't playing well. The Vols rebound and actually focus for a competent opponent, our starting QB finally decides to step into a throw, the offense and defense figure things out, and the Big Orange steals one at home.

2) Vegas is right, maybe even sandbagging a little, the Vols (read: "Butch Jones & the coaching staff) are who we think they are, the Bulldogs want revenge for last year (and Sam Pittman and Jim Chaney--who looks like a different coordinator in Athens than the one we saw here--both want revenge for how they were treated here), and Georgia comes into Neyland and blows us out.

(Either way, I just hope Neyland doesn't turn into Knee-land once again for a prominent Georgia Bulldog. Regardless of team, I hate seeing kids get hurt. Perhaps we should post a sign on Gate 21 that reads "Beware, Dawgs.")

Kind of like last week, however, I don't know what to think about this game. I can't seem to get a good feel for it. Georgia seems clearly to be the better team at this point in time, although I don't think they're much more talented if at all. Maybe it's the series history?

I picked the Vols to win this one before this frustrating season started, and it seems that WAY more often than not, when I deviate from my preseason predictions, it's a mistake. The same holds true for going against what Vegas thinks. Sure, they're wrong on occasion, but there's a reason they can afford to build those massive, extravagant buildings out there in the desert.

There's just one little problem this time, however: my preseason prediction and the Vegas odds are at odds, which may explain my odd feeling about this (odd) year's version of an already odd series.

Regardless, my complete and total uncertainty will not prevent me from (over-)confidently predicting the stats and score for the game. After all, that's what we do here at Little O's Blog.

Expect Quentin "Back Foot" Dormady to throw for 1 TD on 17-34 passing for 196 yards, 1 INT and 4 sacks. Do not expect to see Jarrett Guarantano, even with Dormady struggling.

Expect John Kelly to get a workload despite a low-ish yds/carry average--Butch Jones being reactionary again--due to poor blocking and a very strong Georgia front 7. Look for 24 carries for 78 yards and 1 TD. Expect Ty Chandler to rush 7 times for 13 yards.

Expect Quez Callaway to bounce back from a complete no-show last week against "a byproduct of the nature of the game." Look for him to have 7 catches for 78 yards. Expect Josh Palmer to haul in QD's lone TD to go with 3 catches for 27 yards. Look for Brandon Johnson to add 3 catches for 41 yards. Expect Kelly and Chandler to combine for 3 catches and 18 yards receiving.

Expect our defense to struggle to stop the run with the trio of excellent backs Georgia rolls out there every week, but expect Jim Chaney to be unable to help himself from calling pass plays. Look for 1 INT from their freshman QB to Rahsaan Gaulden and 1 sack from Daniel Bituli (who finally gets to play on 3rd down!). Expect a lot of bend, maybe break a little, but rarely shatter defense due mostly to an occasional lack of Georgia execution on 1st and 3rd down (rather than great defensive play by UT), causing several Bulldog drives to fizzle out and result in punts and FGs.

Expect Callaway and Chandler to look solid on punt and kick returns, respectively, with Callaway having one 25+ yard punt return and Chandler reeling off one 30+ yard kickoff return and one of 40+ yards. All 3 long returns will set up scoring drives.

Expect Aaron Medley to add 2 FGs from 34 and 39 yards, going 2 of 2, miraculously. (NOTE: both kicks are from INSIDE 40 yards.)

And expect a final score of...

Georgia 33, Tennessee 20

Yes, I am predicting 4 Georgia FGs and a Tennessee loss. And, no, I don't think there's any way Jones gets fired after this game...unless Georgia hangs 70+ on us and we score less than 10. UT simply doesn't fire coaches after rivalry games. Losses to the likes of U Mass, however, will get him Jack Crowed. So, let's just play out the string of this season and try to celebrate the players, stop watching press conferences, and enjoy the fellowship with family and friends that surrounds football weekends here in the Southeast.

Go Vols!

Stat & Score Comparisons for the UMass game:

Coming soon...

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