No. 14 Vols fall to No. 3 Georgia between the hedges

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    (Photo courtesy of Tennessee Athletics Communication)

    No. 14 Tennessee gave No. 3 Georgia everything it could for three quarters, but the Bulldogs outscored the Vols 27-0 in the second half to win the game 44-21.

    Georgia (3-0) was able to separate from Tennessee (2-1) in the midst of a third quarter that saw the Volunteer offense really struggle. Tennessee ran 34 offensive plays in the third frame and 31 of them were on its own side of the field. The Vols tallied just 14 yards in the quarter.

    The second half as a whole was even more disastrous for the Tennessee offense. Jarrett Guarantano was sacked three times which led to three fumbles. Georgia recovered two of them, one of which was a scoop-and-score touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 44-21 with 9:56 remaining in the game.

    Tennessee managed to tally just 71 yards in the second half. The Vols threw for 91 yards, but rushed for -20 yards as they averaged -1.3 yards per carry.

    The Vols scored on the second play of the game when Georgia center Trey Hill snapped the ball well over the head of Bulldog quarterback Stetson Bennett. Tennessee’s Kivon Bennett fell on the ball in the end zone to give UT a 7-0 lead in the first quarter just 43 seconds into the game.

    Georgia would go on to score 14 unanswered points courtesy of a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Zamir White and an 8-yard rushing touchdown from Bennett. The Bulldogs led 14-7 with 11:42 remaining in the second quarter.

    Tennessee immediately responded. Guarantano found Josh Palmer in the end zone on back-to-back drives from 36, and 27-yards out. With a Georgia field goal sandwiched in between, the Vols led 21-17 following the second Palmer touchdown at halftime.

    The Vols produced 143 yards of offense in the first half. 124 of those yards were through the air and the other 19 yards came on the ground. Guarantano was 11-of-13 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He finished the game 23-of-36 for 215 yards, two touchdowns and with one interception.

    Bennett finished the game 16-of-27 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t turn the football over. Kearis Jackson was Georgia’s leading receiver. Jackson finished with four catches, 91 yards and a touchdown.

    Tennessee now turns its attention to Kentucky (0-2). The Vols and Wildcats will kickoff in Neyland Stadium next Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.