Tennessee battles with No. 1 Georgia inside Neyland Stadium
First Vols home SEC game in over a month
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee football returns to Neyland Stadium for the first time in over a month to play host to No. 1 Georgia. Saturday’s match-up marks the second to last home game of the season.
The Vols are looking to end the Bulldogs’ school-record 27-game winning streak and extend their streak of consecutive victories at Neyland Stadium to 15 games, a streak that dates back to Nov. 20, 2021.
After defeating Alabama last season when it was ranked No. 1 in the Coaches Poll, Heupel is seeking to become the first coach in Tennessee history to defeat multiple No. 1-ranked teams. Gen. Robert Neyland (1959 vs. LSU) and Johnny Majors (1985 vs. Auburn) are the other two Vol coaches to beat No. 1-ranked teams.
On the first play from scrimmage on the opening drive of the game, Joe Milton hands it off to Jaylen Wright, and one cut later he burst downfield taking it 75 yards to the house for an early 7-0 lead. That touchdown run marks the second time Wright took in a touchdown on the first play of the game. The first time came against UConn.
This is also the fourth time he’s scored on the opening drive of the game. The other times came against Kentucky, South Carolina, and UConn.
Against USC he went 42 yards to the house on the 9th play on Tennessee’s opening possession. Against Kentucky, 52 yards on the 5th play of their opening drive for a score. Against UConn Wright ran for 82 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game.
The Vols defense complemented those efforts by holding Georgia to a field goal on their opening drive.
However, on Georgia’s second possession, the Bulldogs brought out the tricks. Carson Beck passed to Dillon Bell in the flat, he looked downfield to a Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint who was on an island, and completed the 18-yard touchdown pass on their 9th play of the drive to take the 10-7 lead late in the first quarter.
After an emphatic start, Tennessee goes three-and-out for the second consecutive time.
On Georgia’s third possession, Tennessee forced the Bulldogs off the field after just one first down.
Georgia strikes first in the second quarter going 80 yards in 9 plays over 5:02 minutes, connecting on a 9-yard pass to Dillon Bell for six. The Bulldogs pulled ahead 17-7 with 8:04 remaining in the half.
Georgia marches down the field for a fourth time converting for its third touchdown of the game to go ahead 24-7. The Bulldogs have scored on four of its five possessions.
With 1:31 left in the half and following four straight punts by Tennessee, the Vols have only registered 57 all-purposes yards since Wright’s 75-yard touchdown run to open the game.
In the final drive of the half, Milton and the Vols drive down the field converting three first downs. With 20 seconds left, Milton connects with Chas Nimrod to bring the Vols inside the red zone with eight seconds left.
Milton then took a shot at the end zone, but it came up incomplete leaving seconds on the clock.
Tennessee settled for a 37-yard field goal, and Charles Campbell Jr., drills it through the uprights on the final play on the half.
The Vols enter the half down 24-10.
Tennessee attempted an explosive play downfield to Squirrel White on 3rd & 11 from their 23-yard line, but White couldn’t haul it in and the Vols return to punt formation.
Georgia however, takes just six plays to reach the end zone again. Beck to Rosemy-Jacksaint for an 8-yard touchdown pass to make it 30-10 Dawgs.
In this quarter, the Bulldogs registered 151 total yards to Tennessee’s 30. Georgia converted for 8 first downs compared to Tennessee’s 1. Georgia scored a touchdown on two of its three possessions to extend their lead 38-10.
Georgia has recorded multiple scores in each quarter of the game so far.
Tennessee had the chance to score on a 55-yard field goal attempt, but the Charles Campbell kick went left and the Vols were unable to chip away at Georgia’s lead.
The Vols catch a break when Aaron Beasley recovered a botched snap by Georgia. That turnover sets up Tennessee at the UGA 34.
Joe Milton and the offense looked to capitalize and moved the ball to the 8-yard line on 4th down. Milton drops back, and targets Chas Nimrod but it’s too high and Nimrod can’t reel it in and it’s a turnover on down with 8:52 remaining.
Vols fall to Georgia 38-10, snapping a 14-game home winning streak at Neyland. With the win, Georgia ties the record for longest win streak in the SEC with 28, with a chance to break the record with Georgia Tech next weekend.
The Vols now look forward to their final home game of the season where they face off against Vanderbilt.
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