Around the SEC TV times, networks; Only one way Georgia football could lose to Georgia Tech
ATHENS — Georgia Tech has one shot at keeping its game at Georgia close: Forcing lots of turnovers.
The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs are 35 1/2-point favorites over a Yellow Jackets program fighting for bowl eligibility in the noon (ESPN) game.
Georgia beat Georgia Tech 45-0 last season Atlanta en route to winning the CFP Championship, and this year’s UGA team is also favored to win it all.
But first things first, the Bulldogs will need to take care of a resurgent Yellow Jackets team that has swarmed under the direction of interim head coach Brent Key.
Smart watched tape of how Georgia Tech shocked then-No. 13 North Carolina last Saturday in a 21-17 victory and beat then-No. 24 Pitt earlier this season by forcing three turnovers.
“They attack the ball, man, they’ve got visual, intentional strip outs,” Smart said. “That’s what we want our guys to do. We always say we’re competing with the other team to cause more turnovers than they do, and they do a great job with it.
“They’re plus-10 [in turnovers] in their wins, and they’re plus-one in their losses. They’ve got a really good turnover margin.”
Smart’s Bulldogs do not, as they are a minus-2 for the season, which represents the worst for any 11-0 team dating back to at least 2000.
“Turnovers are critical and the greatest equalizer there is in sport,” Smart said. “Really, when you think about how did Georgia Tech beat Pitt on the road, turnover margin was a critical factor in that game. So, it’s something that we’ve got to continue to improve.”
The pick: Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 3
South Carolina at Clemson -7 (TV: Noon, ABC)
Coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers are steaming toward a potential CFP bid and are at home against a Gamecocks team that can’t possibly match the energy or execution they enjoyed in upsetting Tennessee last week.
Clemson will make it eight wins in a row.
The pick: Clemson 45, South Carolina 17
Louisville at Kentucky -2 1/2 (TV: 3 p.m., SEC Network)
Coach Mark Stoops wants to rally his Wildcats one more time after their game effort in a 16-6 home loss to Georgia last Saturday.
The Cardinals have been playing good football.
The pick: Louisville 27, Kentucky 24
Auburn at Alabama -22 (3:30 p.m., CBS)
Cadillac Williams has brought great energy during his brief stint as interim head coach, but there’s a reality for Auburn playing in Tuscaloosa.
The Tigers haven’t tasted victory in Bryant-Denny Stadium since 2010, and Cam Newton isn’t running out of the Auburn tunnel on Saturday.
The pick: Alabama 49, Auburn 23
LSU -10 at Texas A&M (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Aggies’ embarrassing 2022 campaign will mercifully come to an end on Saturday with Texas A&M hoping to avoid what would be a seventh-straight SEC loss.
Too bad for the Aggies LSU is playing for bigger prizes and rolls in with great momentum, eager to snap a two-game losing streak in College Station that dates back to 2016.
The pick: LSU 28, Texas A&M 17
Tennessee -14 at Vanderbilt (7:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Vanderbilt has won back-to-back SEC games for the first time since (checks notes) 2018, but this group of Vols has dominated the series of late, winning the last three by an average of about 22 points.
Tennessee will get its 10th win of this season with next year’s quarterback, Joe Milton, getting his first start with Hendon hooker out for the season.
Tennessee 45, Vanderbilt 23