A recovery week is an understatement.
The University of Georgia needed to regroup and asses what went right and what they failed to execute. The latter was a much longer list.
The Bulldogs took a tumble in the polls, falling to No. 19. Georgia will now hit the road to see their SEC East rival, The University of Tennessee Volunteers. UT has had a “rocky” season to say the least; but when Georgia comes to play, the script flips- something happens when the big dogs come to play. If history is any indicator, Saturday’s game will be a fight until the end. Let’s see if Tennessee can compete for the full four quarters.
Communication is key
Noise levels in Neyland can blow the roof off -if there were a roof- that’s how much noise 100,000 well-organized, checker board fans can create.
The Dawgs will be practicing their listening skills all week leading up to the road trip. While the sound of “Rocky Top” sounds like nails on a chalk board to most Georgia fans, the football team will be listening to it on repeat. Coach Richt plans to prepare his team for the upcoming distraction by pumping Tennessee’s fight song during practice.
On top of battling with noise level created by their playing environment, Georgia will need to improve their play calling execution this weekend against the SEC East opponent. The Bulldawgs will have to recover their composure after being rolled by the Tide this past weekend in Athens.
Addressing the major shortcoming from Alabama’s victory will help the Dawgs move on as they still pursue the SEC East title. Yes, the hopes for the SEC East are still possible.
The past WILL rear its ugly head
The rivalry between the Dawgs and Vols is a tightly matched competition. Georgia has dominated the past five years of competition, but the overall record between the two squads remains 21-21-2. Tennessee tends to make their presence know quickly. UT comes into Saturday’s competition 2-3, 0-2 SEC which seem nearly impossible after watching the Vols in the first half of the game. UT has suffered two hard losses to UF and Arkansas while the Dawgs are still peeling their bandages off the Tide left them in last week.
Both teams are coming into Neyland looking to prove their past week(s) performances do not define them as a program. Given the nature of timing and the rivalry feeding the tension, Saturday will be a struggle until the last few seconds.
Last year when UT came to Athens, Chubb made his statement to the country. This upcoming Saturday will be Chubb’s opportunity to surpass Herschel Walkers’ record completely of 100-plus yard games. Number 14 is on the horizon for the sophomore and a huge shift for the entire Georgia squad.
Who’s In and Who’s Out
The 2015 season has not been kind to the UT nation, the multiple heart-breakers and heartache combined with injured and dismissed players has UT looking for some light at the end of their tunnel. Too bad for Butch Jones and his Vols that it is only week 6.
The Volunteers dismissed their wide receiver, Pig Howard, from the football program for violating team rules. However, the Vols have a handful of player who are likely to return but are still viewed as “we will see how it goes” status. The Vols will have to wait to see the outcome of their recovering players: Dylan Wiesman, Brett Kendrick, Kyle Phillips (shoulder) and Marquez North. Senior defensive end/linebacker, Curt Maggitt, will continue to miss due to a hip injury sustained in the Oklahoma game.
Georgia will likely be without Isaiah McKenzie (hamstring) this week as he sustained injuries from last week’s match up with Alabama. The Dawgs will gain back their center, Brandon Kublanow.
Side Note: Greyson Lambert will continue to be the starting QB, but Brice Ramsey is expected to see some reps against the Vols.
See you in Knoxville.