A look back at what decided the game between Georgia and Tennessee
The Bulldogs had their largest points deficit of the season when Tennessee quickly scored in the first quarter to take a 7 – 0 lead. Josh Heupel had his team prepared. The Dawgs kept grinding, and in the end, crushed the Volunteers 41-17. Tennessee may have struck first, and struck fast, but the Dawgs showed no mercy, the Kirby Kai way. The win against the Vols clinches a perfect SEC record for the Dawgs, which has not happened since 1982. Georgia has a truly special group of guys.
Georgia will face Charleston Southern next week, then close out the regular season against Georgia Tech the week after. The SEC Championship is on December 4, three Saturdays away. Georgia needs to be closest to full strength as possible to have the best chance against their probable opponent the Alabama Crimson Tide. Injuries took a toll on the Dawgs throughout the week, as Arian Smith broke his leg in practice, Smith’s injury is season ending, and some temporary stomach virus took its toll on the Dawgs. During the game, Nolan Smith suffered an elbow injury and Devonte Wyatt suffered what appeared to be a knee injury. As of writing this, the severity of their injuries is unknown. It is important for Georgia to play smart, play safe, and work on getting healthy as the season winds down, and the SEC Championship is looming on the horizon.
Tennessee only managed 55 rushing yards against Georgia which averaged 1.5 yards per rush. The Dawgs were once again highly successful at preventing the run. The Dawgs were less successful against Tennessee’s high paced passing attack. Tennessee accumulated 332 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. The 17 points the Volunteers scored are the most points scored against Georgia’s defense in a single game all season. Derion Kendrick got an interception in the 2nd quarter that contributed to shifting the momentum in the game, but Tennessee was able to beat Georgia’s coverages on multiple occasions gaining some big yards on those plays.
Georgia had 487 total offensive yards. The strategy to beat Tennessee was to utilize the running game. 274 total net rushing yards on 41 attempts, averaging 6.7 yards per attempt. James Cook led the way with three touchdowns, two on the ground, one in the air, 147 total yards. Kenny McIntosh got a touchdown in the 4th quarter on a beautiful run. Stetson Bennett made good use of his legs in some well-timed scrambles, even scoring a rushing touchdown. Bennett was less successful in the air, going 17-29 for 58% completion rate, but did accumulate 213 total passing yards on 29 attempts. His top two targets were Adonai Mitchell and Brock Bowers. Having all these different weapons, and different attacking ability, is the key to Georgia’s offensive success.
Georgia managed to have nine tackles for loss, six of which were sacks. Channing Tindall had a career high three sacks that resulted in a loss of 28 yards for the Vols. Nakobe Dean had two tackles for a loss, including one sack. Quay Walker, Robert Beal Jr., Chaz Chambliss, and Warren Brinson were also able to penetrate and take some yards away from Tennessee as well. Georgia appeared to be more focused on containing Hendon Hooker than pressuring him. Hooker is a dynamic quarterback who makes good use of his legs. Hooker had 17 total runs which averaged 0.4 yards per carry, but his longest run was a respectable 14 yards. The Dawgs were successful at containment and forced Hooker to try to beat Georgia in the air.