January 24 2018

Tennessee blanked by #7 Georgia

January 24 2018, 01:59 | Sammy Rose

Tennessee QB battle resurfaces as Georgia week commences

Lackluster Vols escape upset-minded Minutemen

Georgia is good, but they aren't that good yet.

Tennessee lost this game for many reason. Tennessee never figured anything out. The Vols front seven has developed well over recent weeks and has gotten solid pressure on the pocket for the first time all season. But no one has been able to run on the Dawgs. After 1 season fans weren't thrilled as Georgia scuttled to a 7-5 record and while Smart tried to handle things similar to what Saban has at Alabama it was a rude awakening for the players (no player is safe in Smart's eyes) and the fans (Smart was somewhat similar with his press conferences to Saban where it rubs people the wrong way).

With Josh Dobbs off to the National Football League after using up his eligibility in 2016, Jones held off in naming either Quenten Dormady or Jarrett Guarantano his starting quarterback to begin the 2017 season.

The simple truth is that Tennessee quarterback Quinten Dormady isn't good (completing just 57 percent of his passes, with six touchdowns and four interceptions), meaning that if Kelly, a junior from Detroit, isn't great, the Vols have no chance. Then a run for three. Fromm has played well enough that Smart could have quite a dilemma on his hands once Eason's back at full strength.

It never got any better. And with such inaction and inaccuracy in the passing game, Tennessee was unable to get John Kelly and the rest of its running game going, finishing with just 62 yards and averaging a meager 2.1 yards per rush. The team's second turnover will go down in infamy, too.

Tennessee didn't play particularly well against Florida, though the Vols showed their grit by erasing a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Tennessee's fortunes didn't improve. The battle in the trenches will be a major factor in how the Georgia offense executes. Especially when you're a team like Georgia that is now being talked about viewed as a possible playoff contender. But many awful teams in the past have pulled off upsets or just played good games against top-10 teams. In his absence, quarterback Jake Fromm has started in his place. When you look at scoring drives, most first downs occur on first or second down opposed to third down.

That wasn't a concern for long.

Chubb is getting plenty of help from his tailback friends at Georgia with Michel, freshman D'Andre Swift and sophomore Brian Herrien sharing the load.

But Georgia took the suspense out of this one early. In fact it has two scores to settle. In the receiving end, Brandon Edward Johnson posted 123 yards in seven receptions while Byrd added 21 yards and a touchdown in two catches.

The general narrative about the SEC East in 2017 is that it is, well, the SEC East.

SC lost its best offensive weapon and proceeded to barely beat Louisiana Tech. The Volunteers looked overwhelmed from the opening kickoff, and though the Bulldogs may well be the second-best team in the SEC, Tennessee turned in the performance of a team in need of a major change.

Florida hasn't settled on a quarterback since 2009. And they are doing it with with defense, discipline, and a commitment to the run.

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