Georgia Football 2011: Why the Bulldogs Will Beat Tennessee in Knoxville

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor IOctober 6, 2011

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 01:  Russ, mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs, stands prior to the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia is on a roll. The Bulldogs have won their last three games, two of them were against SEC opponents and they have a winning record in conference play for the first time since 2009.

The Bulldogs have a tough test,though on Saturday, when they take on the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. Neyland Stadium is a place that has given the Bulldogs fits the last two times they were up there, losing by more than two touchdowns in 2007 and 2009.

But this year will be a different story for the Bulldogs. Georgia is coming into the game with a lot of confidence and knows the situation they will be in when they are on the field on Saturday night.

Does it mean it’s going to be a guaranteed win for the Bulldogs? No, because there are no guarantees when playing in the SEC. But the Bulldogs will not come into the game like a deer in the headlights like they have in the past.

Aaron Murray did not have his best game against Mississippi State and will look to do better against Tennessee. It will be interesting to see how he handles the crowd noise at Neyland because he will not be able to hear his teammates when they are on the field.

Murray is getting better he steps on the field and he is looking to get that signature win. While Tennessee is not the same as the teams in the late 90’s, they are doing some good thing under Derek Dooley and seem to be getting better every game.

Another thing Georgia has going for them is the play of its defensive line. Last year, the defensive line, as well as the linebackers and secondary, had trouble knowing where to line up and where to go. This year, they are not having those problems and are playing more fundamentally sound.

As a result, the linebackers are making plays and so is the secondary. This will be a better test for the Bulldogs because Tennessee is the second best offense team in the SEC when it comes to passing offense. They also convert third downs extremely well and lead the country in time of possession.

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 01:  Isaiah Crowell #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes upfield against the Mississippi State Bulldogs defense at Sanford Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

But the main reason Georgia will win on Saturday is what they have to gain. With Florida and South Carolina losing, the Bulldogs have a chance to really clinch the SEC East crown at the end of the year. A win in Knoxville would give the Bulldogs momentum for the Vanderbilt game which is next week, and the big one on Halloween weekend when they face Florida.

The Bulldogs know that they can’t afford to lose anymore SEC games and Mark Richt will get his team ready for this stretch. Richt knows that he is on the hot seat and if they can pull of a run that gets them to the SEC title game, Richt’s hot seat will cool down tremendously.

It will be a very competitive game on Saturday and both teams will give everything they have. But at the end of the day, the Bulldogs will come out Knoxville victorious and keep the winning streak going.


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