Once again, number one Georgia fell behind early in the game and once again, the Bulldogs bounced back to roll to a seventh straight win over Tennessee with a 38-10 victory at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.
The Bulldogs extended their school record winning streak to 28 games as they improved to 11-0 overall and a perfect 8-0 in the SEC for the third straight year.
Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright scored on a 75-yard touchdown run on the game’s first play to put Georgia in an early 7-0 hole, but the Bulldogs didn’t flinch as they outscored the Vols 38-3 the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs trailed in seven of eight SEC games this year but came back to win all of them outscoring the opposition by an average of 38-17.
“I talked to (defensive coordinator Glenn) Schumann, and I said we’re going to let them score, let’s just get it over with,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “We’ve got a lot of practice at it. I mean, seriously, I don’t know how many times they’ve scored on the first drive. I feel like it’s every single game. That doesn’t bother us because we know we can fix it. There is a lot of confidence when they jog off the sideline. It’s like, take a deep breath, we’ll get it fixed, we’ll go get it right.”
The Bulldogs have now won 44 of their last 45 games as Smart improves to 92-15 as the Georgia head coach. Smart has now led the Bulldogs to 11 or more victories in six of his eight seasons in Athens.
Georgia quarterback Carson Beck was 24-30 for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Beck has now passed for more than 250 yards in every game this season. The three touchdown passes now gives him 21 on the year.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter as Dillon Bell received the ball on a toss sweep and then pulled up to throw an 18-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 17-7 midway through the second quarter, but this time it was Bell catching the touchdown pass instead of throwing it as he caught a nine-yard TD strike from Beck on Georgia’s first possession of the second quarter. The sophomore from Houston, TX has now rushed for two touchdowns, caught two TD passes, and thrown for another this year.
The first of Beck’s other two TD passes went to tight end Brock Bowers to give Georgia a 24-7 lead late in the first half. He then hit Rosemy-Jacksaint in the third quarter to up Georgia’s lead to 31-10.
Kendall Milton scored Georgia’s final touchdown on a 15-yard run late in the third quarter. It was Milton’s eighth rushing TD of the season and the 17th of his career.
The Georgia defense put together another outstanding game as the Volunteers amassed just 277 yards, but only 202 after the game’s first play. Tennessee was held to 22 points and 177 yards below its season averages.
“They made plays in those one-on-one situations,” said Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel. “At the end of the day, we didn’t do those things. Those plays, those conversions, give you the ability to go to the next play. They were ready to do that, and we weren’t.”
Senior star defender Tykee Smith led the Bulldogs with a career high ten tackles. His previous game high was nine against TCU when he played at West Virginia in 2020.
The loss dropped Tennessee to 7-4 overall and 3-4 in the SEC. The Volunteers play host to Vanderbilt next week.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season next Saturday on the road against Georgia Tech. Kickoff is set for 7:30 P.M. at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
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