Report Card: Georgia aces adjustments and defense in 44-21 win over Tennessee
ATHENS — Georgia football has not yet settled on a recipe for success, but the Bulldogs appear to have all the ingredients.
The No. 3-ranked Georgia team scored a 44-21 victory over No. 14 Tennessee, snapping the Vols’ 8-game win streak.
The Bulldogs, for the second time this season, were forced to overcome themselves and a halftime deficit.
A look around the SEC provides evidence that no teams appear to be in midseason form after the truncated offseason regimen.
Here’s a look at one opinion of how the various position groups
Bennett’s pass game isn’t flashy but it has been effective, and his mobility has proven a key weapon as the diminutive QB scrambled for 2 first downs. Bennett was 5-of-8 passing for 66 yards on third downs, converting 4 times. What Bennett has lacked in arm strength, he has thus far made up for in moxie and decision-making.
Running backs (B)
Zamir White’s tough start to the season continued with a 22-carry, 50-yard effort that included him getting stopped twice from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. Powerful Kendall Milton impressed ( 8 carries, 56 yards) with an 11-yard run that saw nine UT players hit him before he went down. Milton loses a point for a fumble. Kenny McIntosh looked good on 8 carries for 45 yards with 2 catches for 36.
Kearis Jackson led the team with 4 catches for 91 yards and a TD, but he also had a holding penalty. George Pickens was targeted only 3 times and had 2 catches for 14 yards, but worse, an embarrassing personal foul penalty for squirting water on an offensive player along the sideline. Jermaine Burton had 2 catches for 26 yards, but also, a fumble and a motion penalty.
Offensive line (B-)
Another disastrous snap, and this one cost the team 7 points. Trey Hill did have a heads-up fumble recovery later, but an O-Line can’t give up a touchdown. Justin Shaffer was called for being downfield, wiping out a big Red Zone gain. Curious cut block call on Hill and Ben Cleveland, did not appear intentional. Pass and run blocking was mostly adequate.
Defensive line (A+)
Azeez Ojulari was dominant with 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, and Adam Anderson made the most of his opportunities again with a strip sack. Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, Travon Walker and Malik Herring owned the line of scrimmage to the tune of holding Tennessee to minus-1 yard rushing.
Very strong play on the second level, with Monty Rice forcing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown even as he was lined up at Nakobe Dean’s position. Rice led the team with 8 tackles. Quay Walker saw a lot of work and made five stops, and Dean had 4 tackles before coming out.
Georgia puts their corners on island, and it’s always a gamble. Tyson Campbell had some very strong coverage, but at that position you can get beat by really good throws and really good catches. DJ Daniel also surrendered a touchdown catch. Eric Stokes had his second interception of the season. Richard LeCounte and Lewis Cine both appeared in run support. No plays longer than 40 yards.
Special Teams (A)
Jake Camarda is crushing it, the un-returnable 64-yard punt early was key, flipping the field. Jack Podlesny boomed a 51-yard field goal that would have been good from more than 60. Polesny also made field goals of 34 and 47 yards. Kenny McIntosh had another big kick return, 42 yards. MJ Sherman had a headhunter stop on the kick team.
The halftime adjustments sizzled, the defensive and offensive play calls on the spot the final 30 minutes. The first half left something to be desired on third down efficiency and some of the coverages UGA got caught in. Personnel decisions are fluid and challenging without having had the benefit of a spring session and more fall workouts.
It’s a win amid difficult COVID-19 times and the Bulldogs appeared to escape without a serious injury. The team showed resiliency in rallying from a halftime deficit, more young players continuing to earn their stripes and on-field leaders finding their voices. Smart needs to continue to work to eliminate unnecessary personal foul penalties.
Georgia 44, Tennessee 21 stories