WHAT: Tennessee (3-1, 0-1) at No. 5 Georgia (4-0, 2-0)
WHERE: Sanford Stadium.
WHEN: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
TV: CBS (Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
RADIO: Georgia Bulldogs Sports Network from IMG; ESPN (Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Joe Schad); Sirius: 91; XM 91.
TV REPLAY: CSS Sunday at 11 a.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Players to Watch: Georgia - QB Aaron Murray (6-1, 210, Jr.), RB Ken Malcome (6-0, 224, RSo.), RB Todd Gurley (6-1, 218, Fr.), RB Keith Marshall (5-11, 216, Fr.), LT Kenarious Gates (6-5, 318, Jr.), FLK Tavarres King (6-1, 200, Sr.), SE Marlon Brown (6-5, 216, Sr.), SE Michael Bennett (6-3, 204, RSo.), TE Arthur Lynch (6-5, 258, Jr.), OLB Jarvis Jones (6-3, 241, Jr.), DE Abry Jones (6-3, 308, Sr.), N John Jenkins (6-3, 358, Sr.), ILB Michael Gilliard (6-2, 230, Sr.), ILB Amarlo Herrera (6-2, 245, So.), SS Shawn Williams (6-1, 217, Sr.), S/CB Sanders Commings (6-2, 118, Sr.), K Marshall Morgan (6-3, 201, Fr.). Tennessee - QB Tyler Bray (6-5, 215, Jr.), RB Rajion Neal (5-11, 211, Jr.), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (6-3, 205, Jr.), WR Justin Hunter (6-4, 200, Jr.), TE Mychal Rivera (6-3, 244, Sr.), DE Corey Miller (6-3, 257, Jr.), DE Maurice Couch (6-2, 299, Jr.), N Daniel McCullers (6-6, 377, Jr.), LB AJ Johnson (6-2, 240, So.), CB Justin Coleman (5-10, 182, So.).
Georgia has been established as a 14-point favorite, but the Bulldogs don't believe that Saturday's contest will be anything but the team's toughest test to date. Quarterback Tyler Bray boasts two of the league's top receivers in Cordarelle Patterson and Justin Hunter, although head coach Derek Dooley has spoken earlier this week about the need to get the running game going and will lean on running back Rajion Neal to make it happen. For Georgia, the big news for the Bulldogs is that linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Bacarri Rambo are expected to return from their four-game suspensions for allegedly testing positive for drugs back during spring break.
The Bulldogs appear to be very healthy heading into Saturday's contest. Starting defensive end Abry Jones did suffered a sprained ankle in the third quarter against Vanderbilt and missed practice on Monday and Tuesday. However, Jones returned to the field on Wednesday and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he expects the senior to be fine to play against the Vols.
Tennessee offense vs. Georgia defense
It is tough to find a quarterback more capable of putting together sustained drives or big plays than Bray. The third-year starter does almost everything right when he is able to stand in the pocket. He has a high release and very solid footwork and both allow him to deliver the ball accurately to any point on the field. A lot of quarterbacks struggle to throw the ball to the outside but Bray does an excellent job of staying on top of the football and delivering it where the receiver can make a play. When he has room around his feet in the pocket, he also does a great job of stepping into throws to the middle of the field and delivers them with quickly and accurately. There is very little that he can't do as a passer. He does a good job of reading defenses pre-snap, and looks off defenders well. Bray has an excellent understand of Jim Chaney's offense at UT, and does an excellent job of running through his progressions.
• Stop Tennessee's running game: Georgia wants to make Tennessee's offense one-dimensional, and that means slowing down the running game, led by Neal. If the Vols are able to have some semblance of a running game, it's going to make the Bulldog susceptible to the play-action pass by Bray.
• Keep Bray from hitting big plays: Bray is one of the league's top QBs and he may have the best pair of wideouts in Patterson and Hunter. The two wideouts will likely get their yards; Georgia just needs to make sure it doesn't come on long plays that result in quick touchdowns.
• Watch out for the tight end: Vol tight end Mychael Rivera had a big day against Georgia last year in Knoxville and the Bulldogs will need to make sure they know where he is at all times, especially when Tennessee is in red zone situations.
Coach's comment: "I was saying just the other day that if I had those receivers and that quarterback, I'd have a hard time trying to stay balanced. I like throwing the ball, and they've got great pass protectors. When you have those tackles like they do that don't need any help, you can release five guys out and then you've got a guy that can spin it like Bray." - Mark Richt
Tennessee defense vs. Georgia offense
One of the toughest parts of implementing a 3-4 defense is finding the defensive line personnel. Tennessee has done a pretty decent job in year one under Sal Sunseri. Darrington Sentimore and Maurice Couch man the defensive end positions for the Vols, and both are athletic linemen that play with a high motor. When watching the two on film, it is clear that they are in good shape and are good in pursuit. They also stay on the field most of the time as the defensive tackles in UT's nickel package that uses a four-man front. Sentimore leads the team in sacks with two on the season. Against a base offense, 6-foot-7, 377 pound Daniel McCullers, a Georgia Military product, will play the nose tackle position. McCullers is instinctive and tough against the run. He does a good job of shedding blocks and getting his eyes in the backfield to find the football. He is athletic for his size, but doesn't have the athleticism to make plays on the edge.
• Try to find some way to make Georgia one-dimensional: Yes, this is also a key for the Bulldogs, but it would figure to be a bit harder for the Vols, who besides Murray and a solid stable of wide receivers, have to deal with the Gurley, Marshall and Ken Malcome.
• Be prepared for the spread: Vol defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri made the comment earlier this week that this might be the perfect game for 377-pound nose Daniel McCullers. Maybe, maybe not. If Georgia, as expected, uses a lot of four-wide, no-huddle, it might make for a long afternoon for UT's big man.
• Get Murray out of his rhythm: Again, easier said than done, but look for Tennessee to come at the Georgia junior with a blitz package of it's on to try and get the quarterback out of his game.
Coach's Comment: "They (Akron) were bringing the house. They were bringing safeties from everywhere. So we had a couple of protection breakdowns up the middle which forced a bad throw. It wasn't Tyler's fault. But we had a guy wide open on a double move and couldn't convert it. We had a drop. We had a couple of missed assignments getting a little loose on protection." - Derek Dooley
There have been some who have asked if there's any way the Bulldogs could actually overlook the Vols with next week's big game at South Carolina next on Georgia's agenda. The guess here is no. If there's one thing this Bulldog team has done a good job of to date, is flush the most immediate game and set their sights no further than the next contest. It's a good thing because Georgia will need to have its attention focused solely on the Vols and their quarterback Bray, who certainly has the potential to put a lot of points on the board. Defensively, the Bulldogs will have their work cut out, but so will Tennessee. The Bulldogs are smoking offensively, and UT has yet to show they can consistently stop opposing teams. While Georgia has had the penchant for allowing some big plays, for the most part, Grantham's second-half adjustments have been spot on every time. With that in mind
Georgia 42, Tennessee 20.
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