ATHENS — Georgia won the battle over Tennessee, 38-12, but the Bulldogs appeared suddenly susceptible at times Saturday afternoon.
Here are three quick takeaways from the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs’ win over the rival Vols in a physical battle at Sanford Stadium.
If you’re wondering if Georgia will rotate quarterbacks moving forward, Kirby Smart has something to say to you: “The plan is, there is no plan.”
Jake Fromm’s passing line — 16 of 22 for 185 yards — wouldn’t seem so alarming.
But the fact that Fromm was sacked three times, fumbled twice and didn’t complete a pass longer than 23 yards against Tennessee’s defense is a red flag.
Further, Fields sparked the touchdown drive to close out the second quarter, and it was Fields who finished off two other touchdown drives in the third and fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs might not be planning on playing two quarterbacks every week, but you can bet opponents will be planning on seeing both Fromm and Fields every week.
Smart did acknowledge Georgia will do whatever it takes to move the football.
“So there was not a rhyme or a reason to why we did what we did,” Smart said. “It was more of a plan to call the game that gave us the best chance to be successful.”
The Pruitt factor
Tennessee defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer was Georgia’s linebackers coach last year, and Jeremy Pruitt evaluated or recruited his fair share of the Bulldogs’ current players.
Few teams will have a better idea of how to scheme for Georgia than Tennessee.
There’s a very good chance several other teams will pay close attention to how the Vols attacked the Bulldogs on offense and defense.
The good news for Georgia is the Bulldogs are a team that continues to evolve. What you saw this week against Tennessee probably won’t be the attack plotted for Vanderbilt next week.
Georgia has a great deal of talent and depth, and as the season progresses, more young talent will emerge.
“We had about three or four kids play today [who] had gotten better during the week, so they got an opportunity to go out there and play,” Smart said. “We hope we can continue to do that.”
Who would have thought Vols’ QB Jarrett Guarantano (13-of-21 passing, 143 yards, 2 TDs) would have a better quarterback rating (150.5) than either Fromm (143.4) or Fields (71.0)?
No one would have predicted that Tennessee would have two pass plays of longer than 25 yards — 35 and 37-yard touchdowns — and the Bulldogs’ longest pass play would go for 23 yards.
Georgia was the better team, and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney’s offensive game plan was designed well enough that the Bulldogs were 8 of 14 on third down conversions, and the Georgia offense out-gained Tennessee 441 yards to 209.
But it’s clear Smart means it when he talks about how much more his program will need to grow if it’s to achieve its goals.
“We have to improve, we have to get better,” Smart said. “A lot of things we can work on to get better and we’re going to continue to do that.”