Georgia head coach Kirby Smart admitted that it took his defense some time to get things flowing against Tennessee, but was happy with the outcome in the end.
The No. 3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (5-0) beat the Tennessee Volunteers (1-4) 43-14 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville this past Saturday night.
“They punched us in the face with the big play and we responded,” Smart said. “That’s what you’re looking for in your team. It’s the first time some of our defensive players have taken that punch.”
On the other hand, Georgia’s offense came out ready to play, and in the end, they totaled 526 yards of total offense. “We started pretty well offensively, (but) we didn’t start very well on defense,” Smart said. “We started really well defensively last time, but we didn’t start really well offensively. We just have to put that together.”
Smart was impressed with how well his offense played and commented that all things done were right.
“To protect the quarterback, you have to run the ball, you cannot drop back and pass it every play,” Smart said. “That’s what hurt them. When you can’t run the ball, it eventually wears you down because people keep rushing at you, rushing at you and eventually gets to your quarterback.
The Vols’ defense never got ahold of Fromm as Georgia’s offensive line built a wall around the junior QB and refused to give up a sack. The Bulldogs also rushed the ball for 238 yards compared to Tennessee’s 70. Brian Herrien led the Bulldogs with 11 carries for 88 yards and a score, and D’andre Swift followed with 17 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Zamir White’s confidence seems to be growing as he rushed the ball 7 times for 57 yards, and averaged 8.1 yards per carry.
Fromm 24 of 29 for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Swift was Georgia’s leading receiver with 4 receptions for 72 yards. Miami grad transfer Lawrence Cager continues to improve as he had 5 catches for 58 yards and a score. Fromm had completions to nine different receivers Saturday night.
“I felt like we were wearing them down, but we were wearing them down in a better style than just having to run the ball all the time,” Smart said. “Jake (Fromm) was doing a good job mixing it up. Thought (James) Coley did a good job mixing up the calls.”
Georgia returns to play against South Carolina this coming Saturday, October 12th at 12 noon in Sanford Stadium.
Here is the video from Kirby Smart’s post-game presser: