Georgia notched a third consecutive win over Tennessee Saturday in a 51-44 nailbiter that was much closer than it should have been because of:
Speaking of the latter, there was little pressure on UT quarterback Tyler Bray until late in the game, in part due to the officiating crew refusing to call holding, no matter how blatant it was, but also because the Dawgs pass rushers seemed to have great difficulty getting off their blocks. Bray had a lot of time in the pocket, but frequently Tennessee receivers were left wide open. And Georgia failed to make Tennessee’s potent offense one-dimensional, with the Vols running for 197 yards, 104 of them by Rajion Neal.
On the positive side, Todd Grantham’s defense, which was finally back at full-strength, notched takeaways on the Vols’ last three possessions of the game.
And when they weren’t turning the ball over (one interception and two fumbles), the Georgia offense turned in another impressive big-play performance, with Keith Marshall scoring on spectacular touchdown runs of 75 and 72 yards. He wound up with 164 yards on 10 carries. Todd Gurley had a 51-yard run among his three touchdowns and had 130 yards on 24 carries.
Aaron Murray was 19 of 25 for 278 yards and two touchdowns, but he had a pick-6, and a second-quarter meltdown that saw Georgia go from 17 points up to 3 points down before tying it up on a last-second 50-yard field goal included a Murray fumble on a sack deep in his own territory that was scarily reminiscent of last season’s South Carolina game.
Bottom line: The Dawgs held on and came out of their highest-scoring game ever against the Vols undefeated as they head into the SEC East showdown with the Gamecocks.
It was a good enough effort to beat the Vols, but Georgia is going to need to make some defensive adjustments, clean up special teams, and play on a much higher level overall to come out of Columbia with a win.
What did you think of the way Georgia played against Tennessee?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg