Bitten by the ‘Dawgs… Vols stay with Georgia until fourth quarter in 43-14 loss

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 8, 2019

KNOXVILLE – When looking at the score of Saturday’s game between the #3 Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers, it would be easy to quickly make assumptions about the game as the final was 43-14.
One had to be in Neyland Stadium to truly understand the growth that the Vols exhibited in the loss as for three quarters of play, Coach Jeremy Pruitt’s team was in position to make a run to cut into the ‘Dogs lead.
Unfortunately, Georgia isn’t ranked in the top three of the country just because they are an average team with an average quarterback. After all, they have Jake Fromm and just that alone makes them a threat on any possession to score.
Led by Fromm, the Bulldogs built a 29-14 lead at the end of the third quarter and tacked on a  one-yard run from Brian Herrien and a Tae Crowder 60-yard fumble recovery after Vol true freshman quarterback Brian Mauer had his world rocked on a blind-side sack and coughed the football up to give the final score afteRodrigo Blankenship converted both point-after attempts.
Mauer had Rocky Top rocking in the first half hitting Marquez Callaway on a 73-yard scoring strike to pull the Vols even at 7-7 after Georgia took the early lead with 7:07 showing on the first-quarter clock. 
The freshman almost beat Callaway to the end zone to congratulate the receiver on the reception showing the type of enthusiasm that led to the first start of his college career.
Mauer followed his initial scoring toss with a second one to Jauan Jennings on a 12-yard pass that put Tennessee up 14-10 on Brent Cimaglia’s kick with 14:57 showing on the clock in the second quarter.
Georgia flipped the scoreboard twice in the last two minutes of the half after Cimaglia’s first missed field goal of the season after hitting 11 in a row. Both scores came on passes from Fromm as the Bulldog signal-caller hit Lawrence Cager on a three-yard score and George Pickens from seven yards out with nine seconds left in the half to put the visitors from Athens up 26-14 at the intermission. 
Tennessee had a couple of opportunities in the second half to cut into the lead but were unable to put the finishing touches on the drives as a Blankenship 27-yard field goal was the only score of the quarter.
The Bulldogs took care of business in the final 15 minutes of action to take the win back to Athens.
Statistically, Mauer finished at 50 percent passing for his first start hitting 14-of-28 with one interception for 259 yards and the two scores. After protecting Mauer well in the first half, the offensive line of Tennessee allowed him to be sacked three times in the second half.
After leaving the game on the hard sack, Jarrett Guarantano came in and hit 1-of-5 passes for 14 yards.
Jennings finished the night with seven catches for 114 yards while Callaway added three for 105 yards. Tim Jordan led the ground game with nine carries covering 52 yards while Ty Chandler recorded seven carries for 39 yards.
As a team, the Vols had 29 rushes for 70 yards. Georgia had 70 offensive plays in the contest for 526 yards while Tennessee finished with 62 plays for 343 yards of total offense.
The Bulldogs controlled time of possession as they had the ball 36:28 of the game while Tennessee had only 23:32 of total possession. 
Fromm was 24-of-29 for 288 yards mainly on short passes while the Bulldogs had 41 rushes for 238 yards on the ground. Herrien led the way with 11 carries for 88 yards.
Defensively, Tennessee was led by defensive back Nigel Warrior with 10 tackles while Theo Jackson and Henry To’oto’o added nine and seven respectively.
Tennessee will be back in Neyland Stadium again next Saturday when they play host to Mississippi State for a 12-noon kickoff.

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