Vols push late, but Georgia proves to be too much; win 38-12

It was just two years ago.

Two years ago that former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs launched the pass of a lifetime, two years ago that Jauan Jennings soared higher than the Geogia defenders, and two years ago that Tennessee started 5-0 with an eye at the SEC Championship game after an impossible win in Athens

Now, just two years later, that hope seems as far as the end zone for the Tennessee offense.

The Vols dropped its 11th SEC game in row, dating back to 2016, and its third loss this season with a 38-12 loss at Georgia Saturday.

Tennessee 's defense gave a strong performance against a high powered Georgia team who came into the game having outscored its opponents 178-53 this season. The Vols held the Dawgs to their lowest yardage total this season, 410, and their lowest point total this season, 38.

"We got fight in us," Pruitt said fighting back tears. "Kind of gets me excited."

"These guys have had a lot of negatives come at them for a long time and I'm proud of the way they fought," he added.

Georgia’s scoring began in the first quarter on a fluke, strip sack/scoop and score when Tennessee defensive end Darrell Taylor forced a fumble but tight end Isaac Nauta recovered and ran 31 yards to give the Bulldogs a first quarter lead.

The Bulldogs tacked on a 43-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship and a one yard touchdown run from D'Andre Swift but Georgia up 17-0 going into the half.

Conversely, the Vols were completely ineffective generating anything on the offensive side of the ball. Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano had just 38 yards passing in the first half, while Tennessee as a team has 126 yards total.

After halftime, however, the Vols made a strong push to cut the lead to 24-12 off a big 37-yard passing touchdown from Guarantano to Josh Palmer to put Tennessee on the board. The Vols followed up with a 35 yard touchdown run from Ty Chandler and the game was back in Tennessee's reach.

Georgia, however, proved to be too much for Tennessee, and tacked on two more touchdowns; a 14-yard run from Swift and a 15-yard run from star freshman quarterback Justin Fields.

Pruitt, however, believes there are positives to be found from the loss.

""People on both sides of the field today, they know they were in a football game," said the first year coach. "We made the right step in the right direction as far as building our program."

The Vols will now take a week off before headed south to take on tenth ranked Auburn on the Plains on Oct 13.