Stetson Bennett and the #3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs scored 27 unanswered points in the second half to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers 44-21. Not only was the win convincing, but it was meant to show Tennessee and the rest of the college football world why they deserve to be in the top tier of the college polls.
All the Bulldogs had to do was survive until the second half.
The Tennessee defense scored on the first offensive play on a botched snap to QB Stetson Bennett that went over his head and ended up being recovered in his own end zone by the Tennessee defense for the first score of the day. Vols up 7-0.
From that point until the end of the first half, Tennessee looked better than they have in recent history by putting up a total 21 solid points, two in the air. Vols QB Jarrett Guarantano connected with senior WR Josh Palmer twice on fade routes for the only offensive touchdowns for the orange and white. This version of the Vols offense exemplified why they were on a 8-game win-streak coming into today’s matchup.
Then came halftime. Only the Bulldogs know what was said in that locker room.
Georgia opened the second half with back-to-back field goals from Josh Podlesny. Although the Bulldogs offense hadn’t scored since the beginning of the second quarter, their defense created a stalemate for the Vols offense by recovering a fumble and intercepting Guarantano before forcing punts on the following two drives.
It was all Georgia football from there on out.
Stetson Bennett picked the Volunteer defense apart, sustaining long drives and utilizing Jalen Carter out of the backfield.
A late Tennessee fumble turned into six easy points for LB Monty Rice and the Georgia defense.
Tennessee would go on to force a fumble from RB Kendall Milton, but they weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunity. That fumble recovery was the Volunteers' only highlight in the second half.
Ironically, and diametrically opposed to the first play of the game, Georgia would end the game with a sack on Guarantano that was surely intended to cement their dominance.
When all was said and done, the Bulldogs' speed and resilience showed the cavernous gap between the #3 ranked team in the country and the 14th. Tennessee played one good half of football, but Georgia won the four-quarter game.
End of story.
Tennessee hosts Kentucky next week while Georgia squares off against Alabama.