ATHENS — Georgia stayed perfect with a 38-12 win, but the Bulldogs’ offense came out sputtering for a second consecutive game.
Freshman quarterback Justin Fields came off the bench to spark the offense in the second quarter and finished off two scoring drives with rushing touchdowns of 12 and 15 yards.
RELATED – Recap: Georgia 38, Tennessee 12
Field was 1-of-2 passing for 5 yards and carried five times for 45 yards.
Georgia’s first touchdown against Tennessee came in improbable fashion when tight end Isaac Nauta recovered Jake Fromm’s fumble and ran into the end zone.
Fromm was 16-of-22 passing for 185 yards, but he was sacked three times, and his receivers dropped at least two passes.
It marked the third straight SEC game the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0 SEC) opened the scoring off a fumble.
Nauta’s touchdown against the Vols (2-3, 0-2) was officially scored as a 31-yard advance of a fumble.
The Bulldogs outgained Tennessee 441 yards to 209 yards.
• The Georgia run defense held the Vols to 66 rushing yards on 25 attempts.
• Fields had a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and he sparked another Bulldogs offensive scoring drive in the second quarter, taking Georgia from their own 30 to the Tennessee 31 in seven plays.
• Safety J.R. Reed was strong in run support and coverage throughout the afternoon, making six stops to lead the Bulldogs.
• Nauta’s alert play got Georgia off to a good start, scooping up the Fromm fumble and carrying it for a touchdown to open the scoring in the game.
• Senior linebacker Natrez Patrick was strong against the run, making several open-field tackles against strong tailbacks. Patrick had five stops and a tackle for loss.
• Sophomore D’Andre Swift overcame the groin injury that’s been slowing him, coming up big with the game-clinching 14-yard touchdown run in the final minutes. Swift had finished off the offense’s first scoring drive in the second quarter with a 1-yard run.
• Receiver Mecole Hardman continues to shine, making four catches for 43 yards.
• Linebacker Juwan Taylor had a fourth quarter fumble recovery at the Tennessee 31, but he was also in coverage on the Vols’ 37-yard touchdown pass.
• Fromm had trouble moving the ball against Tennessee. The Vols pressure bothered Fromm, who was fortunate to have Tennessee safety Nigel Warrior drop an interception.
• Outside linebacker D’Andre Walker had a sack, but his personal foul sparked Tennessee’s third quarter touchdown drive, giving the Vols a first down at the Georgia 45. Walker didn’t hear the whistle and didn’t know the back was down, but it was still costly.
• Georgia pass catchers were not at their best. Riley Ridley appeared to adjust poorly to a deep ball from Fromm, and Terry Godwin dropped a seam route on a potential long gainer. Jayson Stanley failed to stay in bounds on a pass from Fields.
• Georgia’s offensive line was missing right guard Ben Cleveland, but there were still too many breakdowns. Fromm was sacked three times, and the Bulldogs had short-yardage run issues.