Georgia seeking to extend its SEC East dominance

Georgia photo by Perry McIntyre / Georgia junior quarterback Jake Fromm guided the Bulldogs to a 13th consecutive double-digit victory over an SEC East foe with a 30-6 win at Vanderbilt on Aug. 31. The Bulldogs are 25-point favorites for Saturday night's game at Tennessee.

ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia junior quarterback Jake Fromm has not completed every pass or won every game in his college career.

Fromm has, however, guided the Bulldogs to 13 consecutive victories over Southeastern Conference Eastern Division opponents by double-digit margins. The 13th of those took place Aug. 31, when Georgia opened this season with a 30-6 win at Vanderbilt.

A 14th such triumph could occur Saturday night, when the No. 3 Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0) take on Tennessee (1-3, 0-1) inside Neyland Stadium as 24.5-point favorites. Kickoff is set for 7 and ESPN will televise the game.

"I think it's due to our system and the way we attack the week," Fromm said when asked about Georgia's divisional mastery. "We're very consistent with that and in really going to work week in and week out. We have really good players, but our really good players work hard."

Georgia will travel to Knoxville seeking a 15th straight overall victory over an SEC East foe, that streak having started with Rodrigo Blankenship's 25-yard field goal as time expired that gave the Bulldogs a 27-24 topping of Kentucky in Lexington late in the 2016 season. Georgia's current tally of 14 in a row trails the 25 straight SEC East games Florida won under Steve Spurrier from 1992 to 1997 and the 16 straight the Gators attained under Urban Meyer from 2007 to 2010.

Before sweeping the East in 2017 and again last year under coach Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs never had gone through divisional play unscathed since the SEC split into two six-team divisions in 1992, when Arkansas and South Carolina joined the league. They became seven-team divisions in 2012 after the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri.

"Obviously Coach Smart has done a fantastic job, and he's got a really good staff," South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. "They have recruited at a very high level, and they have a deep roster on both sides of the ball, which creates competition at practice every day, which creates more consistency in their performance, because they've got to strain every day in order to get on the field.

"They are big and physical and will have the biggest offensive line we'll face all year."

Georgia has produced the SEC East's highest-rated recruiting class in each of Smart's first four years, and the Bulldogs are topping the division again in this 2020 cycle.

Muschamp's Gamecocks will try to stop the Bulldogs next weekend, but that chore Saturday rests with Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt, who is in his second season leading the Volunteers and spent the 2014 and '15 seasons as Georgia's defensive coordinator under head coach Mark Richt. In those two seasons, Pruitt helped Georgia assemble or secure the likes of running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, receiver Terry Godwin, offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, inside linebacker Roquan Smith, outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter and cornerback Deandre Baker.

Those players helped tremendously in Georgia's ascension to the top of its division.

"Georgia has always been a place that has lots of potential as a program to be really good," Pruitt said. "Coach Richt did a fantastic job there for a very long time, and Kirby has taken it to another level. They're in a great state where high school football is important, and they've done a nice job with facility upgrades and have had a good plan there.

"They play together. They play hard, and they play the right way."

That right way has resulted in 14 straight divisional wins and a streak that isn't expected to expire Saturday night.

"We just come out and play our game," Bulldogs fifth-year senior inside linebacker Tae Crowder said. "We focus on us. It's not about who we play."

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.