Vols upset Bulldogs with huge comeback
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Joshua Dobbs threw for 312 yards, ran for 118 more and accounted for five touchdowns Saturday as Tennessee erased a 21-point deficit in a 38-31 victory over No. 19 Georgia.
The defeat was doubly painful to Georgia (4-2, 1-2 SEC), which lost star running back Nick Chubb to an injured left knee on the first play from scrimmage.
Georgia’s Reggie Davis scored on a 70-yard punt return and 48-yard catch but dropped a potential game-tying 56-yard touchdown pass with less than four minutes left. The Bulldogs got to Tennessee’s 27 in the final seconds, but Brian Randolph broke up Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert’s pass to Malcolm Mitchell in the right corner of the end zone.
Dobbs was 25 of 42 with three touchdown passes for Tennessee (3-3, 1-2). He ran for two more scores, including a five-yarder that broke a 31-all tie with 5 minutes 48 seconds left.
Tennessee trailed 24-3 late in the first half before rallying to beat a ranked team for just the second time in its last 30 attempts. The Vols also ended a five-game losing streak in this annual series, with their comeback marking the thirdbiggest deficit Tennessee had ever overcome in a victory.
Georgia’s Sony Michel rushed for 145 yards, with 124 of them coming before halftime. Lambert was 15 of 32 for 279 yards.
Tennessee entered the day with three losses in its last four games and appeared on the verge of getting blown out of this one.
The Vols got back into the game when Dobbs found Josh Smith for a 39-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-eight play. Michel fumbled away the ensuing kickoff at the Georgia 25, setting up a Dobbs two-yard pass to Kamara that made it 24-17 at halftime.
Tennessee continued its comeback in the second half even as injuries forced it to start freshmen Jack Jones and Chance Hall on the right side of their offensive line.
The Vols fell behind early because of their inability to capitalize on opportunities: Tennessee outgained Georgia 137-15 and had two trips inside the Bulldogs’ five-yard line in the first 13 minutes of the game, yet still trailed 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
In the Vols’ first trip to the red zone, Jalen Hurd took a handoff on first and goal from the 1 and was immediately met by Georgia’s Tim Kimbrough. A couple of other defenders converged on the play shortly thereafter, and Davin Bellamy knocked the ball loose.
Georgia’s Leonard Floyd then picked the ball out of the air and ran 96 yards for the game’s first touchdown.