TJ’S THREE: WEEK 11
Last week: 1-2 Straight Up; 0-3 ATS (Against the Spread)
Season: 19-11 Straight Up; 14-16 ATS
Georgia @ Tennessee (Knoxville, TN) Georgia -19.5
Georgia is 9-0 and ranked #1 in any poll known to man for college football. The Bulldogs have been far and away the best team this season. They’re led by senior QB Stetson Bennett who took over the starting role when JT Daniels went down with an injury in week 4. Bennett has thrown for 1,412 yards, 14 TD’s and 4 Ints and has rushed for 193 yards. Junior RB Zamir White leads the Dawgs with 519 rushing yards and 9 TD’s. Senior RB James Cook has 383 rushing yards, 4 TD’s, 68 receiving yards and 2 receiving TD’s. Super freshman TE Brock Bowers leads with 28 catches for 493 yards and 6 TD’s. Fellow freshman WR Ladd McConkey has 21 catches for 338 yards and 3 TD’s. I’ve said this many times this season, the Georgia Bulldogs 2021 defense is one of the best I’ve ever seen. They’re only giving up an insane 6.6 points per game and 230.9 yards per game. They sacked the opposing QB 28 times, they have 10 Int’s, 3 of which were returned for TD’s and have recovered 3 fumbles. Senior Jordan Davis is a mammoth on the DL, standing 6’6” and weighing 340 pounds. And what does a big man like him do, he eats…blockers. The defense will be without a key member as senior LB Adam Anderson has been suspended indefinitely after being accused of rape. Anderson, who leads the Dawgs defense with 5 sacks, turned himself in to police on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, and, through his attorney, denies the accusation. Junior LB Nakobe Dean has 38 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 2 Int’s, 1 of which he returned for a TD. This defense is straight filthy!
Tennessee is 5-4 this season and has been much improved since the beginning of the season. The Vols are led by senior QB Hendon Hooker, who has been a bright spot for the Josh Heupel offense. Hooker has thrown for 1,894 passing yards with 21 TD’s and only 2 Int’s. He’s 2nd on the team with 457 rushing yards and 4 TD’s. Junior RB Tiyon Evans leads with 525 yards and 6 TD’s. Sophomore RB Jabari Small has 387 yards and 4 TD’s. Both Evans and Small were injured last week against Kentucky and they will be evaluated for their status against Georgia. Senior WR Velus Jones, Jr. and junior Cedric Tillman both have 36 catches and 5 TD’s. Jones leads with 553 receiving yards while Tillman has 525. Senior Javonta Payton has 14 catches for 365 yards and leads the team with 6 TD’s. The defense has been leaky this season, giving up 28.2 points per game and 418 yards per game. They’ve accumulated 24 sacks, 9 TD’s (2 returned for TD’s) and have recovered 3 fumbles. Junior LB Jeremy Banks leads in tackles with 74, solo tackles with 39 and sacks with 4.5. Senior CB Alontae Taylor has 40 tackles, 5 pass break ups, 2 Int’s, 1 returned for a TD and 1 forced fumble. He also has one of the coolest NIL deals. Whenever Taylor gets an interception in a game, Vols fans get 2 free cookies from Moonshine Mountain Cookies!
Prediction: Nobody has done any damage to this Georgia defense this season. But with the way Tennessee’s offense has been rolling lately, a lot of the talking heads have said the Vols may give the Georgia defense it’s biggest scare of the season. Tennessee plays at a warp speed pace and that may cause problems for the Dawgs. If Adam Anderson doesn’t play that will also be problematic for Georgia. Stetson Bennet hasn’t been great, but he’s been good enough to keep Georgia winning. This is a tough game to pick because of my love for Tennessee but there’s no way I can go against the Georgia Defense. Georgia: 33 Tennessee 20.
***Side note: My cousin is a huge UGA fan. If my Vols somehow shock the world and win this game he WILL NOT hear the end of it, especially when we get together Thanksgiving week! Rocky Top will be playing many times!
Purdue @ Ohio State (Columbus, OH) Ohio State -21.5
Purdue is 6-3 and comes to Columbus as the resident giant killer of the Big 10. The Boilermakers have beaten Iowa and Michigan State when both teams were ranked #2 in the country. Purdue is led by senior QB Aidan O’Connell who has thrown for 2,087 yards with 12 TD’s and 8 Int’s. Junior QB Jack Plummer has gotten into the rotation the past few games and has 862 yards with 7 TD’s and 0 Int’s. Purdue’s pass-happy offense means the rushing numbers will be down. The leading rusher is junior King Doerue who has 395 yards and 2 TD’s. The top Boilermaker receiver is junior WR David Bell who has 64 receptions for 1,003 yards and 5 TD’s. Junior TE Payne Durham is tied for 2nd with 36 catches, 3rd in yards with 356 and 2nd in TD’s with 4. Purdue’s defense has been a bend but don’t break defense, giving up 329.8 yards per game but only 18.4 points per game. They’ve accumulated 15 sacks, 11 Int’s and 3 fumble recoveries. Senior Jaylan Alexander leads with 67 tackles, 39 solo, and also has 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. Junior safety Cam Allen has 4 Int’s, 1 fumble recovery and 40 tackles with 30 being solo.
Ohio State is 8-1 and ranked #4 in this week’s College Football Playoff ranking. The Buckeyes are led by freshman QB CJ Stroud who is 12th in the country with 2,675 yards passing. He’s also thrown for 25 TD’s and 5 Int’s. Freshman RB Treveyon Henderson leads the Ohio State rushing attack with 128 carries for 937 yards and 12 TD’s to go along with 219 receiving yards and 3 receiving TD’s. The Ohio State WR’s are OUTSTANDING! Sophomore WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba leads in catches with 50 and yards with 888 and is 3rd with 4 TD’s. Junior WR Garrett Wilson is 2nd in all 3 categories with 43 receptions for 687 yards and 6 TD’s. Senior Chris Olave has 42 catches for 623 yards and a team-leading 10 TD’s. Early in the year the defense struggled so much so that the defensive coordinator was relieved of play-calling duties. Since the change the Buckeye defense has gotten much better. They give up 356.3 yards per game and 19 points per game while getting 33 sacks, 11 Int’s, 4 returned for TD’s, and 4 fumble recoveries. Sophomore safety Ronnie Hickman leads with 73 tackles, 42 solo (the 2nd overall tackler has 44 total tackles!), 1 sack, 2 Int’s and 1 TD. Senior Haskell Garrett leads with 4.5 sacks & 2 fumble recoveries, 1 for a TD and also has 19 tackles.
Purdue has already slayed 2 top 5 giants in the Big 10, one of which was last week against Michigan State. Ohio State’s offense has been dominating the competition but struggled a bit last week against Nebraska. In situations like this Purdue has stepped up and slayed the giant. Can they make it 3 times in 2021???? Nope, I like the Buckeyes big in this game. Ohio State: 44 Purdue 20. Take the Buckeyes giving the points at home.
Oklahoma @ Baylor (Waco, TX) Oklahoma -6.5
Oklahoma is 9-0 and ranked #8 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings. The Sooners started the season with Heisman Hopeful QB Spencer Rattler but he struggled a lot this season and the reins have been turned over to super freshman QB Caleb Williams. Williams has thrown for 1,189 yards, 14 TD’s and only 1 Int while also rushing for 288 yards and 4 TD’s. Junior RB Kennedy Brooks has 131 carries for 802 yards and 9 TD’s while fellow junior, and Tennessee transfer, Eric Gray has 303 rushing yards and 1 TD. Gray also has 189 receiving yards and 1 TD. 4 WR’s, sophomores Marvin Mims & Jadon Hasselwood, freshman Mario Williams and senior Michael Woods, II along with senior TE Jeremiah Hall each have at least 20 catches, at least 200 receiving yards and at least 2 TD’s. The defense has been horrid, giving up 359.2 yards per game and 24.2 points per game. They sacked the opposing QB 20 times while getting 5 Int’s and 10 fumble recoveries. Senior Pat Fields leads with 56 tackles, 37 solo, and has 1 Int. Junior Nik Bonitto has 28 tackles and leads the Sooners with 5 sacks.
Baylor is 7-2 and ranked #13 in the CFP rankings this week. The Bears are led by junior QB Gerry Bohanon who has thrown for 1,976 yards, 15 TD’s and 5 Int’s. He also rushed for 176 yards and 7 TD’s. Senior RB Abram Smith leads with 144 carries for 1,055 yards and 11 TD’s. Fellow senior RB Trestan Ebner has 101 carries for 601 yards and 1 TD. Bohanon’s top target is senior WR Tyquan Thornton who has 42 catches for 722 yards and 7 TD’s. While another senior WR, RJ Sneed, has 35 catches for 500 yards and 2 TD’s. The defense has been good, which is head coach Dave Aranda’s forte. They give up 364.1 yards per game but only 20.6 points per game and they’ve gotten 20 sacks, 9 Int’s and recovered 5 fumbles. Junior LB Dillon Doyle & senior LB Terrell Bernard have combined for 114 tackles, 4 sacks and 1 Int. Senior safety JT Woods leads with 3 Int’s; he returned 1 for a TD.
Oklahoma has struggled this season on defense while Baylor has been very good for a Big 12 D. Now that Caleb Williams is the starting QB the Sooners are slowly starting to look like what they did the past few years. Baylor’s run game is going to pound the Sooner defense, but I think OU comes out with the win. Oklahoma: 37 Baylor: 27. Take Baylor getting the points at home.