Georgia offense is better than Hendon Hooker-led Tennessee in this stat

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The Tennessee-Georgia showdown next week will have massive College Football Playoff implications. It’s wild how little coverage the Largest Cocktail Party is getting, given the anticipation for the Nov. 5 showdown between the current No. 1 and No. 3 teams. I don’t think Georgia will overlook Florida this weekend, considering Kirby Smart knows all too well what this rivalry means to these two schools. However, the Volunteers better not get caught looking ahead to the Dawgs with Kentucky coming into Knoxville on Saturday.

If both teams enter next Saturday in Athens undefeated, it’ll be the most impactful and watched game of the season thus far. Hendon Hooker and the Tennessee offense are electric, almost scoring at will. The Volunteer signal caller is the front-runner for the Heisman, with impressive wins over LSU on the road and Alabama at home. He’s thrown for over 2,000 yards with 18 touchdowns and just one interception on a very efficient 70.6 completion percentage. Hooker’s mobility is also a threat, adding another 315 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. However, if any defense is up for the task, it’s Kirby Smart‘s group.

The Dawgs rank No. 2 in scoring defense, No. 8 in yards per play allowed, and have given up the second-fewest amount of plays of 20-yards or more. To be fair, Georgia hasn’t played an offense of Tennessee’s caliber. All four of the SEC opponents they have faced this year sit in the bottom half of the conference in yards per carry. Tennessee will be by far their biggest test. But I think it will come down to Georgia’s offense vs. Tennessee’s defense.

The Volunteers let a terrible Florida team hang with them the entire game, putting up nearly 600 yards of total offense and 33 points. Tennessee allowed the Gators to convert 31 first downs, five of which came on fourth down. Anthony Richardson, who has more interceptions than touchdowns on the year, put up over 450 passing yards and 62 rushing yards to go along with two touchdowns. The Tennessee defense stinks.

If we compare best on best (UGA defense vs. UT offense), you might give a slight edge to the Volunteers but only barely. If we go the other way (UGA offense vs. UT defense), the Dawgs have a massive advantage. Despite a few bumps in the road against Missouri and Kent State, Stetson Bennett has proven he’s capable of being more than just a game manager. The Georgia offense is actually more efficient than Tennessee, scoring on more of their drives than the Volunteers.

Tennessee is No. 1 in the nation in yards per game; the Dawgs are No. 2. The Volunteers are No. 1 in points per game; Georgia is No. 8. In most offensive stats, the Dawgs are right behind Tennessee. However, Tennessee’s defense isn’t even close to being on Georgia’s level.

Photo: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

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