Sunday, October 11, 2020

Post Game Notes

Defense Pitches Another Second Half Shutout: Fourth‐ranked Georgia shut down UT in the second half for the second straight year, allowing no points and only 71 yards on 39 plays plus the Dawgs had a defensive score of their own in a 44‐21 victory to snap UT’s eight‐game winning streak. 

Thanks to five sacks, UT finished with minus one rushing yard, tallying 214 yards of total offense. Last year, Georgia held Texas A&M to minus two yards rushing in a 19‐13 victory here. Georgia came in ranked fourth nationally in Scoring Defense and third nationally in Rushing Defense. Last season, Georgia led UT 26‐14 at the half, pitched a shutout with a defensive score, and won 43‐14. 

In the first half today, Georgia surrendered 21 points to No. 14 UT, however one score came by the Vols defense and another was a one‐play drive (36‐yard TD pass) as Georgia trailed 21‐17. In the first half, UT had 143 yards (19‐rush, 124‐pass) of total offense on 24 plays with eight first downs. After a failed fourth down attempt by the Dawgs in the 2nd quarter, UT took over at the UGA 36 and threw a game‐tying TD pass to Palmer with 6:40 left. 

To start the second half, redshirt sophomore Azeez Ojulari registered a sack and forced fumble at the UGA 15 on a 3rd‐and 14 play. It was UT’s first turnover of the year. It was Ojulari’s second forced fumble and sack on the year and first fumble recovery of his career. It led to a field goal to trim the deficit to 21‐20 with 12:00 left in the 3rd. On UT’s next possession, junior Eric Stokes came up with his second interception this year and gave the Dawgs the ball on the UT 36, and it led to a go‐ahead 51‐yard field goal (23‐21 with 10:11 left in the 3rd). It was the fifth pick for the defense this year and second for Stokes. 

Georgia’s leading tacklers were senior Monty Rice (8 stops) who also had a strip sack, force fumble and scoop and score from 20 yards for a TD and Ojulari (5 stops) with two sacks and two forced fumbles. 

Bennett Directs The Offense To Another Win: Junior Stetson Bennett (16‐for‐27, 238 yards, 1 rushing TD, 2 passing TDs) directed Georgia to 431 yards of total offense on 77 plays. The final play of the first half was a goal‐line stand by UT as Zamir White was held to no gain at the one as Georgia trailed 21‐17. This is the 2nd time this year that Georgia has trailed at the half (Down 7‐5 at Arkansas in the opener). 

In the second half, Georgia outscored UT 27‐0. Trailing 7‐0 in the first quarter today following a defensive TD caused by an errant snap, he led Georgia to a five play, 63‐yard TD drive in 2:29 to tie the contest at 7 with 6:38 left. 

On the next possession, he led a season‐long 95‐ yard TD drive on 12 plays in 6:15 for a 14‐7 edge. It was Georgia’s longest drive by yards since a 98‐yarder on six plays last year versus Arkansas State. Bennett ran in the final 18 yards on a pair of scrambles including an 8‐yarder for the score. It was his first of the year and second of his career. Bennett converted a 3rd‐and 7 with a 21‐yard TD pass to Kearis Jackson (his career 1st) to make it 30‐21 with 35 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. His final TD pass came to freshman nose Jalen Carter, who comes in on goal line situations, and it covered one yard. The leading receiver today was Jackson (4‐91 yards, 1 TD) followed by graduate transfer tight end Tré McKitty (2‐for‐47 yards). 

Series History: With today’s 44‐21 victory, Georgia now leads the all‐time series 25‐23‐2 as it dates back to 1899. Georgia has won four straight in the series. The Dawgs are now 7‐1 against ranked teams at home in the Kirby Smart era and 17‐9 overall. Today was the first top 15 showdown with UT since 2006. 

Points Off Turnovers: Georgia got 13 points on three turnovers while UT got seven points off two fumbles including one recovered in the end zone by Kivon Bennett after a high snap resulted in a team rush for minus 30 yards. It gave UT a 7‐0 lead with 14:17 left. It was the first fumble recovery for a TD against Georgia since 2018 (Josh Jacobs, Alabama). UT came in as one of five teams in the FBS (and the only SEC team) not to have a turnover this year. Georgia’s Monty Rice had a 17‐yard fumble return for a scoop and score to make it 44‐21 advantage with 9:56 left. 

Special Teams Summary: Junior punter Jake Camarda had two punts for a 56.6 average including a season‐long 64‐ yarder, and he placed the other inside the 20. Redshirt sophomore PK Jack Podlesny nailed a then career‐long 47‐yard field goal that made it 17‐14 Georgia with 4:49 left in the first half. Then, he made a career‐long 51‐yarder in the 3rd quarter to put Georgia in front 23‐21. It was the longest by a Dawg since Rodrigo Blankenship’s 53‐yarder versus Vanderbilt here in 2018. Also, he was 5‐for‐5 on PATs. Sophomore Kenny McIntosh had a 42‐yard kickoff return. 

For Starters: Graduate transfer TE Tré McKitty made his first career start as a Dawg as Georgia opened up with a two tight end set. It was his Dawg debut as he missed the first two games this year due to a knee injury. He had made 19 starts at FSU. On defense, sophomore SLB Nolan Smith made his first career start. The longest active starting streak on offense belongs to center Trey Hill now with 21 while Richard LeCounte leads the defense with 21 straight. 

Captains: Georgia senior Mark Webb, junior Jordan Davis and redshirt sophomore Kearis Jackson served as the captains. UT won the toss and elected to defer until the second half. 

Up Next: The No. 3 Dawgs (3‐0) travel to No. 2 Alabama (2‐0) on Oct. 17 at 8 pm ET (CBS).

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