It’s not an exaggeration. Saturday is the biggest home game in Athens in a long, long time...maybe ever.
Sure, there’s been frenzied buildup to the 2008 Alabama game we don’t talk about, the George Rodgers - Herschel game in 1980 and so forth. But none of those basically matched a 1 vs. 3.
For those who pay attention to such things, Tennessee is No. 1 in the CFP rankings, but being first this early is as useless as a screendoor on a submarine.
What matters more is what happens Saturday. Here are three questions going into the matchup.
Can Georgia’s Crowd Rattle Tennessee?
Kirby Smart has already implored Georgia fans to make Tennessee’s life hard by way of stadium noise on Saturday. He knows from last year what happens when Georgia’s fan base wants to impact the game...see last year’s Arkansas game with two false-start penalties that set the tone for the win.
Tennessee has been very fortunate with its schedule this year as its had two road games so far, and none of them were hostile with trips to Pitt and an 11 am start at LSU - not quite rowdy places to play.
The home crowd can impact the game and deal out some adversity of the Volunteers. Kirby Smart knows this.
Can Georgia withstand the Tennessee ‘splash plays?”
It’s probably unrealistic to think Georgia’s defense shuts Tennessee down fully. I don’t care what the competition level is - when you have the offensive weapons of the Volunteers, big plays will happen. But every game has big plays - the key for Georgia will be for those plays not to take over the game or in other words - don’t let one play beat you twice.
Can Georgia Win The Turnover Battle?
One black mark on Tennessee has been the yards and points it has given up - big surprise coming with a coach who played in the Big 12. right? But in that, the Vols have actually been pretty good in turnover ratio. Could that play in UT’s favor? Last week’s nightmarish third-quarter performance that was ridden with turnovers and other plays we’d like to forget let Florida get back in the game. Georgia had a cushion thanks to a big lead and less offensive talent from Florida.
But as the Alabama game showed when it played Tennessee, a back and forth game can turn when a chance to score ends on a turnover, and that’s what Georgia absolutely has to avoid on Saturday.