It’s happening. Tennessee football is going to upset the Georgia Bulldogs on the road between the hedges Saturday, all but punching their ticket to the SEC Championship game and likely the College Football Playoff. There are lots of factors working in the Vols’ favor, and while Georgia has some advantages, they won’t be enough.
For one thing, the crowd noise at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., won’t affect the Vols. As Blake Wyman writes, the design of that stadium makes it not as loud as other stadiums. Also, UT’s tempo requires less communication at the line of scrimmage, where the crowd matters most.
You could say Georgia is more motivated after the Vols came in at No. 1 in the College Football Playoff and they were No. 3, but UGA would’ve been more motivated anyway. They need this game more. The Vols are too mature to not take it seriously, though. Now, after neutralizing UGA’s advantages, here are five reasons Tennessee football will win.
5. Georgia picked up bad habits amidst easy schedule.
Picking up bad habits is natural when you play bad teams. Georgia hasn’t played a team near its caliber since blowing out the Oregon Ducks 49-3 in the opener. Not one other team the Dawgs beat is currently in the top 25 or was even in the top 25 when UGA beat them, and yes, they picked up bad habits in the process.
We saw them struggled with the Kent State Golden Flashes in the first half, need to come back to beat the Missouri Tigers and then make some mistakes in the second half against the Florida Gators. Those issues pile up and usually come back to bite you once you face a good team.
On the other hand, Tennessee football has been battle tested it seems like every week, and they’ve gotten better. From the Pittsburgh Panthers to Florida to the LSU Tigers to the Alabama Crimson Tide, every foe got more difficult. There was a drop-off after Bama, but the Kentucky Wildcats were still a top 25 team. They are more seasoned.