Menu Close

Can #2 UGA Win on the Road Against the #13 Vols?

Can #2 UGA Win on the Road Against the #13 Vols?

CAN #2 UGA WIN ON THE ROAD AGAINST THE #13 VOLS – Last Saturday went very differently for these two teams. After Tennessee was mauled by Missouri in the 3:30pm CBS game, UGA embarrassed Ole Miss in ESPN’s primetime game. The results have taken a little bit of the luster away from this game which most fans had circled before the season started.

Before the year began, the narrative around Dawg Nation was that this trip to Knoxville was going to be Georgia’s only test of the season. Now, it’s the 4th contest in a row against a ranked opponent, and the SEC East has already been decided no matter the outcome. Can Georgia sustain this run of excellence?

Coach Smart noted that Bloody Tuesday was the worst Tuesday practice in weeks. The last true road test was a tight game against Auburn. Georgia has improved, but Neyland Stadium and Tennessee present an even greater challenge.

Here’s what to look for in this matchup.

Related: Dan’s Kansas St. vs. Kansas Preview

The Odds







(10-0 SU, 2-7 ATS)






(7-3 SU, 5-4 ATS)






When: Saturday, November 18th at 3:30 EDT

Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN


Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of November 17th, 2023

Tennessee Volunteers

Joe Milton

Much of this game hangs on Joe Milton’s performance. Not shocking that the QB will have a huge impact on results, I know. Yet, Milton has to be at his best.

Against Alabama, Milton made crucial throws in the first half, putting the Vols in prime position to score. They just couldn’t punch it in. Tennessee will have much greater success against Georgia’s defense in the red zone.

What they need is for Milton to connect on key 3rd down and deep throws to keep Georgia from honing in on their run game. The Vols offense this year is not nearly as explosive as last year. In that regard, UGA is far and away the superior team.

Lack of Explosiveness

The Vols are a run heavy team that can hit big plays infrequently as opposed to last year they were a run first team that hit big plays consistently.  Additionally, Milton needs to run the ball at least 10 times in this game. It would be even more devastating if he can manage to throw on the run with success.

Last year, UGA noticed that Hendon Hooker would not throw once he was flushed from the pocket. So, they continually pressured him up the middle, got him out of the pocket and had corners and safeties crash on Hooker, knowing he wouldn’t throw over the top to make them pay. Milton has to make Georgia pay, even when on the move.

Can Georgia Contain a Mobile QB?

Georgia did a much better job containing Jaxon Dart last week, but Milton should present his own challenge. He has to become an additional factor in the run game for the Vols to win. At a minimum, Milton has to give up his habit of staring down receivers or UGA might just feast on some of his throws.  

Vols Defense

Tennessee has to consistently confuse Carson Beck on the back end. The Vols do a great job of mixing up coverages from drive to drive, or even during a drive. They like to show one thing pre-snap and perform something different post-snap.

Combined with an aggressive pass rush, the Vols are able to create some havoc by confusing the QB and then disrupting the pocket. When it works, it’s a recipe for turnovers and frustration. Yet, when it doesn’t — and unfortunately for them too frequently it doesn’t — they can be gashed.

Tennessee is 70th in pass defense in the nation. To succeed against Georgia, they need to win playing man defense. Beck and OC Mike Bobo have carved up zone defenses all year. Missouri stuck with man defense and created some difficulties for UGA.

Tennessee has to manage to do the same.  red state bbq big banner

Georgia Bulldogs

Road Dawgs

For Georgia, they have far fewer obstacles to overcome to win this game. The first obstacle is Neyland itself. A slow start could present a big problem.

With Georgia’s tendency to give up a touchdown to start off the game, the Tennessee faithful will likely be fired up, making the motions and shifts Bobo likes to throw into the offense difficult to manage. Georgia will get hit by this Vol offense. They have to be ready to counterpunch, to match explosives and scores.

If UGA can get up early, force a 3 and out or two and score on consecutive drives, they will cruise. If they get down multiple scores early, it will become a slugfest, and they’ll have to claw their way back in the same way Alabama did.  

Advantage: Georgia

Georgia has a major advantage in athleticism compared to the Vols defense. While the Vols are big and physical, their speed is lacking. Even their best players, like LB Elijah Herring or James Pearce, can get caught being too slow laterally or defending receivers.

I think Brock Bowers and Oscar Delp present a potential major mismatch with the linebacker coverage. Plus, Ladd McConkey is posed to have another big day. It wouldn’t shock me if we see more of the “extension of the run game” with swings to Daijun Edwards or screens to Dom Lovett.

I also think we may see that TE wheel route into the near side of the field that Oscar Delp made the one-handed catch against Florida on, or Brock Bowers bust for a big gain earlier in the year.  

Key Players 

Two players need to show out for UGA to make this game lopsided. In particular, CJ Allen and Daylen Everette are key defensively. If CJ Allen can repeat his performance from last week, the Dawgs should feast.

They already have a major advantage between the interior of their D-line versus the interior O-line of Tennessee. If Allen and Chambliss/Jones, Jr. can contain the edge and pursue out wide, the Vol running game will be stifled.

Everette will get picked on and needs to respond. This game is a big opportunity for him to make some plays or get exposed.  


I think Georgia isn’t at full power because of the crowd in Neyland. Tennessee also receives the home boost they get from the crowd. They haven’t lost at home since 2021 to UGA.

And yet, the last three times the Dawgs have been to Knoxville, they have won 41-0, 43-14, and 41-17. I think Georgia wins this game and covers the spread. Unfortunately, if that’s my pick then this game is bound to be a close contest instead.

I’m sticking with my gut.

Dawgs Win: 34-17


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *