ATHENS — Georgia shook off a slow start on offense and overcame miscues en route to a 38-12 win at home against Tennessee on Saturday.
The Bulldogs improved to 5-0 (3-0 SEC), despite the offense allowing three sacks, dropping at least two passes and having four fumbles they were fortunate not to lose.
The No. 2-ranked Georgia program caught the first break of the game, and it was a big one, when tight end Isaac Nauta recovered a Jake Fromm fumble and ran it into the end zone. The first quarter play was scored as a 31-yard advancement of a fumble.
Fromm was 16-of-22 passing for 185 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
The Vols (2-3, 0-2) battled back in closing to 24-12 in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs finished strong with two touchdowns.
Georgia left no doubt in the fourth quarter scoring with a 13-play, 75-yard TD drive that consumed almost eight minutes in making it 31-12 on D’Andre Swift’s 14-yard run.
Freshman QB Justin Fields capped the final drive with his second touchdown run of the day, this one from 15 yards out.
The Georgia defense was stifling for most of the game, holding the Vols to 66 yards on 25 carries.
Tennessee was 2-of-10 on third down conversions and averaged 2.6 yards per carry.
Here is the full recap of the game, including critical plays and scoring updates.
FOURTH QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 38, Tennessee 12 (2:41): Justin Fields 15-yard touchdown run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: two plays, 31 yards, 0:43
Georgia 31, Tennessee 12 (3:31): D’Andre Swift 14-yard touchdown run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 13 plays, 75 yards, 7:39
Georgia 24, Tennessee 12 (11:10): Ty Chandler 35-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Guarantano (2-point conversion pass failed). Drive: Five plays, 57 yards, 2:24.
THIRD QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 24, Tennessee 6, (5:14): Josh Palmer 35-yard pass from Jarrett Guarantano (2-point conversion pass failed). Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:38
Georgia 24, Tennessee 0, (9:52): Justin Fields 12-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:08.
Key halftime stats
• Georgia 238 yards, Tennessee 68 yards
• Georgia 18:40 time of possession, Tennessee 11:20
SECOND QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 17, Tennessee 0, (0:30): D’Andre Swift 1-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 12 plays, 70 yards, 5:07. Key play: Brian Herrien 5-yard jet sweep run on fourth-and-1 at Tennessee 31.
Georgia 10, Tennessee 0, (11:57): Rodrigo Blankenship 43-yard field goal. Drive: Nine plays, 35 yards, 5:15. Key play: Lamont Guillard falls on fumble after Jake Fromm fumble/sack at 25.
• Georgia QB Justin Fields comes in to take first snap, hands off for 2-yard gain, Jake Fromm comes back in.
Ric Flair provided some in-game entertainment:
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) September 29, 2018
FIRST QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 7, Tennessee 0 (8:52): Isaac Nauta 31-yard fumble advance (Rodrigo Blankenship kick), Drive: eight plays, 86 yards, 3:40.
• Cade Mays starts at right guard in place of injured Ben Cleveland
• Georgia wins toss, defers
Weather at kickoff is expected to be 84 degrees with a sticky dew point of 72 that makes it feel like 90. Field temperatures will feel like mid-90s.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart has said his team welcomes the heat, as the Bulldogs have practiced in the afternoon throughout August and September.
• Georgia legend Herschel Walker is present for the game, and so is Tennessee’s greatest player of all time.
— Herschel Walker (@HerschelWalker) September 29, 2018
— Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) September 29, 2018