Tennessee Reign As #1 Short-Lived, Get Humbled By Defending Champion Georgia

Athens, GA – The game of the decade turned into a one-sided performance from the Georgia Bulldogs. Even after recovering a fumble on the opening drive, Tennessee barely had enough to keep up with the opposing team on offense, losing 27-13. Georgia fans even chanted “overrated” as the final moments ticked off the clock.

We wondered for most of the week about which Tennessee team would show up in Athens and how they could find a way to stop Stetson Bennett. Turns out, it was everything and above for the Bulldogs, as they took down the Vols, giving them sole possession of first place in the East. The way this game played out was pretty simple as the Vols never looked comfortable on offense.

All Stetson Bennett did was throw for over 250 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading his team to another massive victory. The seven false starts didn’t help the Vols either, struggling to get into any type of rhythm on offense. Tennessee did not score a touchdown until the 4:15 mark of the fourth quarter.

Georgia Student Section, on Saturday against Tennessee. Via: Trey Wallace

Georgia felt disrespected on defense and came out to prove a point at home. All week, most media pundits were talking about how many points Tennessee would score, potentially running away with the game. In an interesting twist, during this all, we didn’t hear much about the Dawgs defense — which looked mightily impressive on Saturday.

Holding Tennessee to under 260 yards of total offense, while also keeping them from scoring a touchdown for over three quarters is a massive feat. But it should go to show you how good Georgia is, while not losing a step under the pressure of this past week.

Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Different Year, Same Type Of Team For Georgia

Again this all goes back to why Georgia was a nine-point favorite entering this game. It’s not as if Tennessee is bad, but the Bulldogs are just so good. Whether it be Stetson Bennett throwing for over 300 yards or the defense coming up big on numerous occasions, nothing seemed to faze the Bulldogs, holding Hendon Hooker to just over 130 yards passing. It wasn’t as if Tennessee wasn’t good enough, but people forgot who Georgia was.

Former Tennessee QB Peyton Manning. Via: Trey Wallace

The same team that held the National Championship trophy last season, walked onto the field today in Athens. Yes, they might’ve lost a number of key players on defense, led by Jordan Davis, but this never made them a dysfunctional team. If anything, it has made them better as a group. Playing all-as-one can take a team a long way, which would be no different for these 2022 Bulldogs.

The question now becomes what happens with both teams. Tennessee will win their next three games, playing Missouri, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Georgia now has a clear path for a berth in Atlanta’s SEC Title game. We learned that this Georgia team takes it to heart when folks come into their backyard and handle business. It’s just the way football works in Athens, which was proven again Saturday.

Where Tennessee Goes From Here?

Tennessee deserves to be ousted from the Top-4, which could keep them them within striking distance. Put up another performance like this and the promising opening eight games will be met with talk of faltering down the stretch.

So where do we go now? Just under 260 yards of total offense during the week will make you question it all.

Tennessee vs. Georgia Via: Jake Nichols

Here’s what I do know: Georgia’s defense is a dominating force, while the offense hasn’t lost a step from last season. They’ve filled in what they loss, with playmakers who still have time left with the program. Also, Tennessee had a really bad day, but one that won’t be easily forgotten. The way in which they loss will not help their playoff chances and this certainly is a step back for the team.

But, it’s one loss, in a season where fans were hoping 9-3 would be achievable. Georgia is a dominant force again and will fight for a national championship spot. As for Tennessee, maybe they ran out of steam at the wrong moment, or maybe it was just Georgia being Georgia.

We’re gonna find out over the next four weeks.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

One Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. Thank GOD we can please put the non stop Tennessee hype train posts on this site to bed. Game of the Century was such crap-that would have meant it was going to be competitive. Tennessee got put in their place and now enjoy your nice bowl game cause they are not even going to win the division. Not a Georgia or Tennessee fan just glad I don’t have to hear how Tennessee is the best thing since sliced bread anymore.

Leave a Reply