Tennessee got embarrassed on Saturday. There’s no other way to call it.
Georgia strolled into Neyland Stadium and decimated the Vols 41-0 in front of a sold out Checker Neyland crowd. The Vols were never in the game, and the strong defensive effort to start the game was completely spoiled by Tennessee’s erratic and disastrous performance on offense.
The Vols’ first play of the game was picked off, and it somehow got worse from there.
Tennessee was blown out, dominated on both sides of the ball, and flat out embarrassed on Saturday.
Here are our biggest observations from the Vols’ 41-0 loss to Georgia.
Dormady’s Worst Start
Quinten Dormady doesn’t have many starts to his Tennessee career, but this one was undoubtedly the worst of his career.
Dormady was pulled right before the end of the third quarter, and his stat line tells you all you need to know. He finished the game completing just 5-of-16 passes for 64 yards and two interceptions. And he had a handful of other passes that easily could’ve been picked off as well.
Tennessee’s first play of the game saw Dormady line up in the shotgun with five receivers wide and no running backs in the backfield. Dormady took the snap, looked across the field to his right, and promptly threw an interception on the first play of the game.
That play got Tennessee off to a bad start, and they never recovered.
Third Down Mishaps
Tennessee’s third defense was only out-matched in terms of ineptitude by Tennessee’s third down offense. The Vols allowed Georgia to convert nine of their 16 third downs for first downs.
Meanwhile, the Vols’ offense managed to convert just one of their 12 third down attempts for the game.
Tennessee lost this game for many reason. And their ineffectiveness on third downs on both sides of the ball was definitely one.
First Shut Out since 1994
The Vols hadn’t been shut out on offense since Florida came into Neyland Stadium in 1994 and handed the Vols a 31-0 defeat.
That streak ended on Saturday.
Tennessee not only was shut out, but they were handed their worst loss in terms of point differential since Oregon destroyed the Vols 59-14 back in 2013. It also marked only the fourth time in school history that the Vols had been beaten by 40 or more points in a game.
The Vols totaled just 142 yards of offense and averaged a mere 2.7 yards per play. Tennessee had just 2.1 yards per carry on 29 attempts, and they picked up just seven first downs. For comparison, they punted the ball nine times.
This also marked the first time since 1981 that Georgia had shut out Tennessee. The score of that game? 44-0.
No Touches for Callaway
Before Marquez Callaway exited the game due to injury, he was targeted all of two times and ended up with no catches in the game.
The Vols couldn’t get anything going on offense, and that started with not getting the ball to their play-makers. Callaway didn’t have a reception, and Brandon Johnson finished with zero catches as well. John Kelly’s 44-yard reception was the biggest play of the game for Tennessee, but even it ended in disaster as he was stripped of the ball as he was being brought down.
Tennessee finished with four turnovers, and Kelly was the only non-quarterback to finish with more than 22 yards of total offense in the game.
Vols Are Eliminated from East Race Before October
With this loss, the Vols aren’t officially eliminated from the SEC East race. But they might as well be.
Tennessee now has losses to Florida and Georgia while neither team has a single loss in SEC play. The Vols are still very likely to lose at least to Alabama on their remaining schedule, which means Georgia or Florida would have to finish with at least four conference losses to negate the tie-breaker they have because of their wins over the Vols.
It’s not even October yet by the time this game ended, and Tennessee is all but out contention for the division crown.