Vols up­set Bull­dogs with huge come­back

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY STEVE MEGARGEE

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.

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