National media, Dawgs247 predictions for Georgia vs. Tennessee

After another victorious trip to Jacksonville, the Georgia Bulldogs face their biggest test of the fall on Saturday.

No. 3 Georgia (8-0, 5-0 SEC) hosts the most-anticipated showdown of the weekend Saturday when it takes on No. 1 Tennessee (8-0, 4-0 SEC). The Bulldogs are fresh off a 42-20 victory over Florida last week; Tennessee, meanwhile, took care of Kentucky 44-6.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a big lead over the Gators last week then had to finish strong in order to fend off a comeback.

Georgia settled in after 17 unanswered points by Florida in the third quarter by battling back with two consecutive touchdowns to keep the Gators at bay. The must-have drives from Georgia late in the third quarter and early in the fourth followed a strong first half in which the Bulldogs dominated and all but knocked the Gators out of contention.

The Gators came out of halftime trailing by 25 but quickly made it clear the game was not over.

Florida found success on its first drive and rode its ground game hard on a long 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Trevor Etienne reaching the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown run with 9:34 to go in the third quarter. The Gators got the ball back after one play by the Bulldogs — which ended with Kenny McIntosh fumbling the football — and moved the ball well again, but the Bulldogs’ defense buckled down to force a field goal.

Adam Mihalek’s 26-yard field goal cut Georgia’s lead to 28-13 with 6:07 to go in the game.

Georgia was still in control of the game, but yet another mistake on their next possession truly gave the Gators the hope of a comeback.

Stetson Bennett threw his second interception of the game, and the Gators quickly struck in response. Facing a third-and-6 on the Florida 22, Anthony Richardson found running back Xzavier Henderson all alone down the right sideline for a 78-yard score.

Suddenly, what seemed like an assured victory for Georgia was an 8-point game with a little over 18 minutes left to play.

To the Bulldogs’ credit, they shook off their mistakes and went back to work.

Bennett hit Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint with a 19-yard catch to get close to midfield before Daijun Edwards broke loose for a 20-yard run. Edwards capped off the drive two plays later by finding a hole up the middle and taking off for a 22-yard touchdown run.

Edwards’ key carry to the end zone pushed Georgia to a 35-20 lead with 35 seconds left in the third.

Florida had been rolling offensively after the game’s intermission, but Georgia rose to the challenge after Edwards’ score. The Gators got as far as their own 48-yard line before the Bulldogs locked in, which resulted in an incomplete pass on fourth down to give the ball back to Georgia.

With a chance to deliver a knock-out punch to one of its biggest rivals, Georgia capitalized.

Florida defender Brenton Cox jumped offsides on a fourth down, which gave Bennett a free play that resulted in the super senior quarterback hitting Brock Bowers down the right sideline for a 29-yard gain. Kenny McIntosh closed the book on the drive on the next play by pushing forward for a 4-yard touchdown run.

McIntosh’s second score of the afternoon put the Bulldogs up 22 with 11:44 to go in the game.

Saturday’s matchup between Georgia and Tennessee truly marks the first time all year that multiple writers have picked against the Bulldogs. Here’s the full rundown on predictions for the game:

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