One winning streak will witness its end when No. 3 Georgia hosts No. 14 Tennessee on Saturday afternoon in Sanford Stadium. Fresh off a big win against rival Auburn last weekend, the Bulldogs enter the game having won seven straight regular-season SEC games, as well as 20 of their last 21 at home. The Volunteers, meanwhile, have won eight straight games, which is the longest in the SEC, tied for the second-longest active winning streak in the nation and the longest the Vols have put together since winning 11 straight over the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Of course, the only winning streak that matters to these SEC East rivals’ fans is the three-game streak Georgia has against Tennessee. The Bulldogs have won the last three and eight of the last 10 meetings. Tennessee’s last win in the series did come in Athens, however. That 2016 game saw the Vols eke by the Dawgs 34-31 during Kirby Smart’s first season at Georgia. That was the only time Tennessee has won in Athens, Georgia, during its last six trips, though Georgia fans might want to be wary heading into this one.
Georgia has lost three of the last four games it has faced Tennessee while it was ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.
Georgia: Have the Dawgs found their quarterback? Stetson Bennett replaced D’Wan Mathis during Georgia’s season-opener against Arkansas, but most believed he was only a placeholder until transfer J.T. Daniels was ready. Then, Bennett started against Auburn and completed 17 of his 28 passes for 240 yards and a score. Leading the team to a win over a rival is a great way to keep the job, though Bennett did get plenty of help from running back Zamir White, who set a career-high in carries with 19 and finished with 88 yards rushing and two scores. Now a Georgia offense that looked a bit shaky seems to have found a rhythm. When paired with an elite defense, this is a team that can do a lot of damage. However, the Bulldogs mustn’t overlook Tennessee this week as Alabama looms on the schedule next week.
Tennessee: The 2020 season is certainly off to a better start for Tennessee than at this point in 2019, and the Vols have an eight-game winning streak going, but none of it will mean much if Georgia blows them out. Georgia hasn’t just won the previous three meetings — it’s done so by an average of 32 points. If the Vols want to get where they want to be — the top of the division and playing for SEC titles — Georgia is one of the teams they need to get through first. Wins over South Carolina and Missouri are nice, but they should be the expectation. Beating Georgia should be the goal, and to do so, they’ll have to find a way to run the ball with Eric Gray against a terrific defense.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 10 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sanford Stadium — Athens, Georgia
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast)
Game prediction, picks
As mentioned earlier, Georgia has crushed Tennessee in recent years, but this Vols team is the best one Jeremy Pruitt has had during his three seasons. Now, that doesn’t mean I think it’s good enough to beat Georgia, but it should hang within this number. Stetson Bennett looked solid last week, but he’s not a game-changer at the QB position. Meanwhile, Georgia’s defense was able to decimate a bad Auburn offensive line. This Tennessee offensive line is much stronger than the one they faced last week and will provide more resistance. Georgia wins, but Tennessee does enough to stick around and cover. Pick: Tennessee (+12.5)