Todd Gurley led the Georgia Bulldogs to a big victory over the Tennessee Vols in what ended up being an unexpected offensive battle. As predicted, Gurley put up huge numbers on the ground, officially reaching his career-high of 208 rushing yards. Gurley is now averaging 179 yards per game. It’s hard to imagine what Georgia would have done without him, considering Georgia’s top receiver Michael Bennett and fullback Nick Chubb combined for a total of just 63 yards.
Georgia and their offense started off very slow, allowing Tennessee to kick a field-goal and score a touchdown to gain a lead of 10-0 halfway through the first quarter. It wasn’t until there was a minute left in the first that quarterback Hutson Mason scored on a three yard run. The Gurley show would start midway through the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run to give Georgia the lead. Chubb extended the lead to 21-10 on a 20-yard touchdown run on the next posession.
The Vols proved that Georgia’s defense could use some more work, making an 83-yard drive for a touchdown in less than a minute. Tennessee inched their way back, making it 21-17 just before halftime on a touchdown pass to Justin Croom for 23 yards.
The third quarter was very slow on both sides of the ball, as neither team was able to put points on the board. However, more unfortunate for Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley, who left the game after hurting his elbow on the helmet of a Georgia defender. Backup quarterback Nathan Peterman was called for intentional grounding on what could have been a game changing drive for the Vols.
Gurley started off the fourth quarter with a huge 51-yard touchdown run. Worley would return in the fourth and rallied his team to a touchdown and two-point conversion play that would bring the Vols to within three of Georgia’s lead. The Bulldogs made a very big fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown and lengthened their lead by 10 points.
The Vols were able to score with two minutes to go in the fourth, but it wouldn’t be enough to beat the Bulldogs in Athens. This brought the Vols’ losing streak against ranked opponents on the road to 21 straight games.
Since 2004, Tennessee has started 0-1 in conference play, the longest drought in the SEC.
Georgia will continue their home stand next weekend as they take on Vanderbilt; Tennessee will look for their first conference win against the Florida Gators at home.
*Section Photo credit to Brant Sanderlin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Featured Photo (above) credit to Dale Zanine, USA Today Sports