2. This is the best defensive line Georgia has faced since Missouri.
Remember how lucky Georgia was to beat Missouri? They trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter and had to convert a fourth down in the red zone in which they clearly had a false start that wasn’t called. Key to that game, beyond turnovers, was Mizzou’s defensive line, which didn’t let Georgia’s run game get going properly.
Well, Tennessee football is the only defensive line on Mizzou’s level that UGA will have faced after Saturday. In fact, it’s better. Let’s take the standard stats. Mizzou is the only team Georgia has faced in the top 50 in fewest rush yards allowed per attempt, at No. 36. The Vols are all the way up at No. 9. Advanced stats from Football Outsiders further the narrative.
On standard line yards per carry defense, Mizzou is No. 5, and the Vols are No. 10. Now, the Oregon Ducks are No. 21 on that. However, on standard downs line yards per carry defense, they are down at No. 57, and they are down at No. 75 on passing down line yards, meaning they can give up lots of yards if they aren’t expecting the run.
The Vols and Mizzou are top 10 in all of those. Omari Thomas has emerged as one of the best interior linemen in the SEC, and because of this, Georgia won’t be able to run the ball the way they usually do. That takes away a lot of their offense, and if Mizzou can cash in on that, you know the Vols can cash in.