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Is Stephen Garcia the modern-day equivalent of Che Guevara or Napoleon? Whichever one looks better on a T-shirt, probably.
Yes, 4th-and-57 happened . . . but so did Mark Richt's 100th win, and that's what really matters.
Alabama and LSU remain at the top of the SEC with both still holding undefeated records. Georgia and South Carolina are battling in an Eastern division race that may not be decided until the final weeks of conference play.
Georgia Bulldogs stud freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell had to leave the game against the Tennessee Volunteers upon injuring his hamstring late. After the game, he insisted the injury wasn't serious, and coach Mark Richt said he hopes Mitchell can make it back in time for the Florida Gators game.
That's three weeks away, but the Dawgs get the Vanderbilt Commodores before enjoying their bye week. So it's more like half a week away. Not so bad!
UGA will need Mitchell in order to continue its run at the SEC East crown. He entered the game as the team's leading receiver and Aaron Murray's favorite target, then added 126 yards that included a 71-yard sprawl in the fourth quarter. That was the play during which he hurt himself, matter of fact.
After two straight brutal losses at Neyland Stadium, the Georgia Bulldogs emerge from Knoxville with a 20-12 victory. Just like the past two weeks, it should've been more convincing, but it's still SEC win No. 3 in a row. It also means Mark Richt's 100th win as Georgia's head coach.
A nut-nut-nutty fourth quarter included a penalty-induced 4th and 57 for Georgia, a triumphant Matt Simms appearance -- he took over after a Tyler Bray injury and went four-for-five before scoring a touchdown -- a blocked extra point and a Vols onside kick that went out of bounds.
Simms had 18 seconds to try and make up those eight points, but couldn't drive an entire 80 yards.
Up next for UGA: a return to Tennessee to play Vandy.
The Georgia Bulldogs offense found itself in the second half against the Tennessee Volunteers after failing to do anything but kick a bunch of field goals in the first. The Dawgs have the ball and a 20-6 lead as the third quarter ends, and they're a-drivin' again.
Isaiah Crowell produced two touchdowns in the third, part of a 52-yard evening that leads Georgia's 130-yard ground game. Aaron Murray has straightened up after a sluggish beginning, and has now thrown for 206 yards on 22 attempts.
Malcolm Mitchell had to leave the game due to a pulled hamstring, but he shouldn't need to miss games.
Tennessee is built to score in bursts, so this one's not in hand yet. The Vols have absolutely no running attack -- 10 yards on 18 tries -- but Tyler Bray has had time tonight. If a few near-misses had found their targets, the score could be closer right now. But it's not, so.
The Georgia Bulldogs and Tennessee Volunteers are playing a festive game at Neyland Stadium. Ordinarily a 6-6 game (UGA leads) would be cause to divert your eyeballs, but this one has been intense and watchable. Not, you know, beautiful or anything, though.
Tennessee needed a productive drive at the end of the half to try and even up the score. Third-and-Willie, anybody? Marlin Lane converted a third-and-eleventy after a holding penalty to enter field goal territory. A Vols huddle penalty followed, and it looked like Derek Dooley had a chance to call time out with about 11 seconds left, setting up one Tyler Bray shot into the end zone, but he opted to play it safe.
Bray is 10-of-19 for 159 yards, and Aaron Murray has 95 yards on eight-of-16. Mychal Rivera's 66 yards receiving leads the Vols, while Georgia has four rushers with 14 or more years.
The Georgia Bulldogs came to win in Knoxville. People say that, and some people think it means "are going to win." It doesn't, but fortune favors the bold. That's another thing people say.
Mark Richt has twice called for successful fourth-down conversions in Tennessee Volunteers territory, with Isaiah Crowell taking a pitch for one and Aaron Murray dipping through for another. Crowell left the field with a wrist injury after the first, and might not play for Georgia until the second half. It did, however, lead to a field goal. The latter produced a fine punt.
The score is 3-0.
The Dawgs looked to have secured a fumble in the middle of the period, and even wrapped up a Tennessee player's entire leg, but an official's review left the ball in UT possession.
The Georgia Bulldogs are most likely to be without a few players when they take on the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday. Right guard Chris Burnette who started the first three games has been out for the past two games with a knee injury and is listed as probable, but he is listed as the backup right guard on the official depth chart the school released for this game.
Here is the full injury report for Georgia:
• WR Marlon Brown is questionable with an ankle injury.
• WR Rantavious Wooten is questionable with post-concussion syndrome.
• CB Damian Swann is probable with a groin injury.
• OL Chris Burnette is probable with an ankle injury.
• CB Brandon Boykin won't take part in contact drills this week but will play against Tennessee.
As for Tennessee they are healthy and have no significant players out with an injury.
After opening the week as a one point favorite over the Tennessee Volunteers, the Georgia Bulldogs find the spread increasing every so slightly as the weekend approaches. The Bulldogs are now a 1.5 point pick according to Oddshark.com with 55 percent of all bets still going Georgia's way.
The total number in this game is set at 55 1/2 and 61 percent are taking the over as they show confidence in both of these team's potential for big offensive numbers.
Tennessee has gone over the number in eight of its last 10 games and four of its last five at home. Georgia was over in each of its first three games but has gone under in its last two. On the season, Tennessee is 3-1 against the number while Georgia is 3-2.
Consider the seat of one Georgia football head coach Mark Richt officially cooler if his Bulldogs can win their fourth straight on the road at Tennessee, a place UGA hasn't won at since 2005. Georgia's defense has excelled since the Dawgs started 0-2, climbing to seventh nationally (258.6 yards allowed a game), but the challenge an offensive-minded Tennessee presents on the road is far greater than the two gimmie wins UGA picked up courtesy of two woeful offenses in Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The Vols, by contrast, are clicking. Says Richt:
"[Tennessee] is number two in the league in total offense, number two in passing and number one is passing efficiency. Another thing that is pretty impressive is I think they are tied for first in America in third down conversions. That's why they are also leading the league in time of possession, because when you get your third downs, you continue drives and you burn more clock and you get more yards and score more points. That's going to be a challenge for us."
Game date, time: 7:00 pm ET, Saturday Oct. 8
Location: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee
Online: Streaming: ESPN3
Radio: WSB AM 750
The Dawgs prepare for another trip up to Big Orange Country. Some of them are preparing a little more diligently than others.
Georgia -- Tennessee headlines the SEC's Week 6 games as we count down the days until Alabama -- LSU.
The Georgia Bulldogs look for their fourth consecutive win on Saturday night as they travel to Neyland Stadium to take on the Tennessee Vols. According to OddShark.com, the Bulldogs are a slim one point favorite over Tennessee on the road. The early results show 55 percent of all bets being placed on Georgia.
Against the spread, Georgia is just 2-4 in its last six road contests and is 1-3-1 in its last five games versus Tennessee. On the other hand, the Vols are 8-1-1 overall in their last ten games against the spread. Those trends might make anyone that is picking Georgia just a little nervous.
After starting the season at 0-2, the Bulldogs have covered in their last three games. Tennessee is 3-0-1 against the spread this season with the tie coming against Florida when they were a 10 point underdog.
The first glimmer of hope for Mark Richt - a suddenly stifling defense and back-to-back conference wins - have been karmically adjusted to maintain his "embattled coach" status. Richt is suspending linebacker Cornelius Washington, Georgia's team leader in sacks (3.5), for this Saturday's game at Tennessee and next week's trip to Vanderbilt.
Seth Emerson breaks down Richt's handy system of "punishment percentages" that determined Washington's two-game verdict:
Head coach Mark Richt said on Sunday that Washington's arrest, for DUI and speeding, falls under the category of a "minimum 20 percent" of the season suspension. He later specified that would mean "at least" two games. So effectively Washington is out for Saturday's visit to Tennessee and the following week's game at Vanderbilt.
"It's a setback, but I don't know if it'll deter us from playing hard and playing well," Richt said. "It'll give something else another opportunity."
In terms of ranking this offense on "Energy Vampire" chart within the UGA program, Washington's arrest is the first in almost a full calendar year - therefore we expect him to vaulted to some kind of lethal Dracula status. We're talking "Lost Boys" and the first "Fright Night" here, people, not your tween-age sister's "Twilight."
For the entirety of the 1990s, the Dawgs couldn't buy a win in the Georgia-Tennessee series; now, at least, the rivalry has gotten competitive again, but unfortunately that's because both once-proud programs are struggling to keep their heads above water in the SEC. Two years ago, Georgia went to Knoxville and got humiliated by Lane Kiffin's Vols; last season, Tennessee came to Athens, this time under Derek Dooley, and got suckerpunched by a Bulldog team coming off a four-game losing streak. With promising raw talent at the offensive skill positions but a slew of question marks on defense, the Vols will be under pressure to show improvement in Dooley's second season at the helm, but the Dawgs desperately need a win here to show that they can still make their presence felt in the SEC East race.
BETTER KNOW THE VOLUNTEERS
Coach: Derek Dooley, 6-7 in one year at Tennessee; 23-27 overall
Last season: 6-7, 3-5 SEC; finished 4th in the SEC East
Returning starters for 2011: 13 (seven offense, six defense, zero special teams)
Key returners: RB Tauren Poole, QB Tyler Bray, FS Janzen Jackson, WR Justin Hunter
Key losses: LB Nick Reveiz, DE Gerald Williams, WR Denarius Moore, TE Luke Stocker
Best-case scenario: The Dawgs pound the Vols for a second straight year, with the Bulldog running game, working behind a better-conditioned offensive line, grinding the Tennessee front seven into powder down the stretch. Last year Aaron Murray got to bomb away at the Tennessee secondary in his first game with A.J. Green back and at 100 percent; this year the Dawgs will have Murray but no Green, and there will be much greater pressure for Isaiah Crowell, Washaun Ealey and the rest of the running game to perform. But if the Dawgs can jump out to another fast start -- they led 17-0 after one quarter of last year's game -- they should be able to wear down an already depleted Volunteer defensive front and coast to their first back-to-back wins in the series since 2002-03.
Worst-case scenario: The Dawgs fall victim to the same inertia that doomed them in their last two trips to Knoxville, and they trudge home bearing the bruises of another horror show of a loss. Even now it's hard to explain what happened to the Dawgs in Neyland Stadium in '07 and '09, but whatever the reasons were, the Dawgs will have to work to make sure they don't pop up again. Tyler Bray may have padded his 2010 stats against a late-season schedule of lousy teams, but he'll still be a handful for the struggling Georgia secondary, particularly with Tauren Poole and Justin Hunter, one of the SEC's most exciting young offensive talents, on hand to help him out. Aaron Murray, meanwhile, will be throwing against one of the most physically gifted secondaries in the conference and can't afford to make the kinds of mental errors he did against Florida last year. While a win in this game wouldn't immediately establish the Dawgs as contenders, a loss would signal an ominous turn at a time when Mark Richt really can't afford one.