Game Preview: Georgia at Tennessee

Check out InsideTennessee.com's breakdown of the the Vols match up with SEC foe Georgia in Neyland Stadium.


KICKOFF: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. EST
GAMEDATE: 10/8/11
SITE: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
SURFACE: Grass
TV: ESPN2
SERIES: Tennessee leads 21-17-2 (last meeting, 2010, Georgia 41-14)
RECORDS: Tennessee 3-1, 0-1 SEC; Georgia 3-2, 2-1 SEC

KEYS TO THE GAME:

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (2-1)

Tennessee knows how to play offense. They are one of the best in the country. Against Georgia however, defense is going to be the key. The Bulldogs have an extremely dynamic offense and it is going to be an intense test for the young Tennessee defense. The Volunteers must contain the Dogs running game and keep the ball in Tyler Bray's hands.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (3-2)

Georgia has to pressure Tyler Bray. Seemingly, we say the same thing every week, but the fact of the matter is if you give Bray the time he is going to carve you up like a Thanksgiving turkey. If the Dogs play keep away it could be a long day for Tennessee.

FAST FACTS:

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (2-1)

— A Tennessee win would give the Vols a six-game winning streak in Neyland Stadium.

— With a win the Vols would be 4-1 for the first time since 2006.

— The Vols have played a total for 15 true freshmen during the 2011 season.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (3-2)

— A Georiga win would mark the 100th win for head coach Mark Richt.

— Richt is 3-2 when bringing the Bulldogs to Knoxville, winning the first three matchups and dropping the last two.

— A Georgia win would give the Bulldogs a four-game winning streak. They have outscored their opponents 110-23 in their last three games.

STAT LEADERS:

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (2-1)

Tyler Bray — 98-143, 1328 yds., 14 TD/2 INT

Tauren Poole — 71 att., 318 yds., 1 TD

Da'Rick Rogers — 27 catches, 442 yds., 3 TD

DeAnthony Arnett — 11 catches, 86 yds., 2 TD

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (3-2)

Aaron Murray — 83-135, 1100 yds., 13 TD/6 INT

Isaiah Crowell — 99 att., 515 yds., 2 TD

Malcolm Mitchell — 22 catches, 312 yds., 3 TD

Orson Charles — 16 catches, 256 yds., 4 TD

STAGGERING STATS:

— During Georgia's three-game winning streak their defensive front has held opponents to a combined 153 yards rushing.

— The last six meetings in the Tennessee Georgia series have been decided by 12 points or more.

— The home team has won the last four consecutive meetings.

— Tennessee is tied for the national lead with Wisconsin for third-down efficiency at 63.1% converting on 36 of their 58 third downs this season.

— Tennessee is 20-of-22 scoring in the red zone during 2011 putting the Vols as 90.9%.

WHAT A WIN MEANS:

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (2-1)

For Tennessee, a win means the Vols are in control of the SEC East, but more importantly it gives Tennessee a big-time win for the first time in Derek Dooley's tenure. The Vols game against Georgia in Neyland Stadium is sold out and it's Dooley's first time to show the audience that he can bring Tennessee back to national prominence.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (3-2)

For the Bulldogs, a win keeps Mark Richt off the hot seat for at least another week. Again, if Georgia wins this game they can also be in control of the east and you can't complain much about that. This win means as much if not more to the Dogs.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (3-2)

Orson Charles (junior, tight end)

Charles is the Vols worst nightmare. He brings an element that Tennessee hasn't seen yet. With their young linebackers he is going to stretch the field and challenge Justin Wilcox's defense.

In 2011, the Dogs tight end is their second leading receiver with 256 yards and four touchdowns. The Vols must find and answer to cover Charles or it is going to be a very long day.

Isaiah Crowell (freshman, running back)

The Bulldogs tailback looks like anything but a freshman. Crowell is a physical runner that can hit the hole with authority behind his massive offensive line. He has accounted for 515 yards in two touchdowns through five games.

The Vols haven't seen the type of downhill running game that they are going to see on Saturday. It is going to be an extreme challenge for Tennessee's undersized defensive line.

TBD (unknown, OLB)

Interesting right? I can't tell you who can fill the void left by junior outside linebacker Cornelius Washington who was arrested Sunday morning for DUI.

Washington was leading the charge for the Bulldogs defense with 3.5 sacks in the last two games. They will need to find a way to pressure Tyler Bray so he doesn't pick apart the defense.

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (2-1)

Tyler Bray (sophomore, quarterback)

Tyler Bray's numbers have been completely insane during the 2011 season, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions, but both interceptions came against their only SEC opponent, Florida.

Bray, like Dooley, still needs to prove that he can get the job done against upper-level competition. He has performed how he should against the Vols weaker opponents. Now it's time to prove he has what it takes against the big boys.

Allan Carson (freshman, defensive tackle)

Carson, a true freshman, is the Volunteers biggest option at defensive tackle and was moved into the two-deep rotation this week. With Georgia's size along the entire offensive line he is going to have to make an impact.

The big man doesn't need to get to the quarterback as much as he needs to occupy space and take up blocks. Carson must make sure the big boys up front don't get to the next level so the Vols backers can make plays.

Prentiss Waggner (junior, defensive back)

Waggner is at safety right now, but with the emergence of Brian Randolph it is giving the junior freedom to do more things in the Vols offense. I would guess that he could move to the nickel corner in the specialty package.

I suspect they will use Waggner to cover Orson Charles. He is one of the Vols best cover guys and will need to show up big in order for Tennessee to come out with a win.


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