ATHENS — Jacob Eason has found a new favorite target.
Georgia’s quarterback continually looked for fellow freshman Isaac Nauta throughout Tennessee’s 34-31 victory over Georgia on Saturday.
He responded with five catches for 83 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown reception, after entering with four catches in the first four games.
“It’s great to see guys go out there and make the plays that they deserve because they work so hard throughout the week,” running back Sony Michel said of Nauta. “The offense expects explosive plays from everybody on the field. He had an explosive play and we continue to work on our game like that.”
Nauta provided one of Georgia’s offensive highlights of the second half when he beat Tennessee linebacker Cortez McDowell and snatched Eason’s perfectly thrown pass while slanting across the middle.
He then displayed his remarkable speed that helped make him one of the nation’s top recruits last year by outracing the Tennessee secondary to the end zone.
Eason continued to look for Nauta in critical situations in the second half.
With Georgia facing a third-and-4 in the fourth quarter, Eason threw toward Nauta, who was held by Tennessee’s Todd Kelly Jr., resulting in a penalty and a first down.
Later in the drive, Nauta caught a 12-yard pass to convert a third-and-8 and give the Bulldogs a first down at Tennessee’s 33.
Three plays later, on fourth-and-2, Eason again went to Nauta, but the pass fell incomplete after being tipped by defensive end Corey Vereen.
“Isaac has matured a lot,” offensive tackle Greg Pyke said. “He’s been doing really well.”