Georgia went up 27-10 early and it looked like the Dawgs were going to put this game away early. Then Georgia turned the ball over twice in their own territory at the end of the half (after already having thrown a pick six) and Tennessee played their way back into the game. This game had it all...big time plays, huge turnovers, fake receiver passes that turn into TD runs, missed extra points, a blocked punt and even a two point conversion.
This was a game of momentum swings as Georgia owned the first quarter (scoring 21 points) and the Vols owned the second (scoring 20 points). Georgia was able to get into FG range at the end of the second quarter and freshman kicker Marshall Morgan, who had already missed an extra point, nailed a 50 yard field goal to send the teams into half-time all tied up at 30-30. Speaking of momentum, Georgia came out and owned the third quarter outscoring the Vols 21-7. A couple of Sanders Commings interceptions later and Georgia was able to hold off a very game Tennessee squad in Athens.
From a Tennessee perspective, there were definitely some positives. The Vols were able to run the ball up the middle against Georgia in the second half and that bodes well for the future. They were also able to hold, key word being "hold", Jarvis Jones in check for the game. The defense was also able to come up with some key turnovers due to pressure that they brought at different points in the game. On the flip side, the Vols gave up almost 600 yards of offense to Georgia and did a very poor job of tackling after Georgia's backs got past the line of scrimmage. Tyler Bray and his receivers also had very up and down days. Cordarelle Patterson had some explosive plays but also had a big drop. The reason the Vols were in the game in the second half was because of their ability to run the ball up the middle and grind out the Georgia defense and keep Georgia's offense off the field. Tennessee is a much improved team but they still have a ways to go.
For Georgia, you have to like what you saw from the offense. The offense came out and just shoved the football down the Vols throat early in the game. For the game, Georgia had two freshman RBs combine for 5 TDs and 293 yards rushing. There were also some big plays from the receiving corps as Michael Bennett had two TDs, Marlon Brown caught a two-point conversion, Artie Lynch slaughtered some poor Tennessee guys on a 38 yard reception and Tavarres King set up a TD with a catch down to the one half yard line. The worst thing for Georgia offensively was the three turnovers in their own territory which resulted in 16 Vols points (without those three turnovers it's 51-28 and a blowout win).
Georgia definitely has some things that they have to work out in the week leading up to the South Carolina game. The defense needs to be shored up, special teams needs to be worked out and the blitz pick-up needs some definite work. That being said, in college football you have to "win and advance" and that's what Georgia did today. The showdown next week with the Gamecocks will put one team into the driver's seat in the SEC East unless Florida can pull off an upset of LSU.