Recap: Georgia vs. Tennessee
Athens, GA (Sports Network) - Todd Gurley rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns and Keith Marshall added two touchdowns on 164 rushing yards as No. 5 Georgia outlasted Tennessee, 51-44, at Sanford Stadium.
Aaron Murray completed 19-of-25 passes for 278 yards and tossed a pair of touchdowns to Michael Bennett for the Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0 SEC), who are tied with Florida for the top spot in the SEC Eastern division standings.
"It's nice to have a gut check and come out on top. A lot of things in the first half deflated us, but we realized where we were, we knew we had to play another 30 minutes, and we rose to the occasion when we needed to," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We kept them out of the end zone when we needed to, we got turnovers when we needed to and we did what we had to do to win. I'm going to focus on the positives because we got the win."
Tyler Bray went 24-for-45 through the air for 281 yards and two touchdowns, but threw three interceptions. Rajion Neal ran for 104 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and also hauled in five passes for 53 yards and a score for the Volunteers (3-2, 0-2), who have dropped their last three matchups with Georgia.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Georgia. They are a great football team and a heck of an offensive football team. I am proud of this team for fighting," Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said. "I think we showed that we have some resilience in this ball team, but we a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. We are leaving here a better team than when we got here."
Trailing 51-44, Bray led the Vols to Georgia's 27-yard line. Following a false start, Bray was stripped and John Jenkins pounced on the ball, presenting Georgia with a chance to put the game away.
Tennessee, however, forced a three and out and took over on its own 35.
But Bray's pass was intercepted by Sanders Commings to seal the win for the Bulldogs.
"There is a lot of disappointment. We kept hanging in there but couldn't get over the hump and get a stop when we needed it. We had the ball in the last possession and had an opportunity to score, but we didn't get it done," Dooley said. "We haven't been in those situations a lot. We are going to learn from it and next time execute it better."
Georgia scored on its first touch when Gurley bulled his way across the goal line from 2-yards out, capping a 13-play, 84-yard march.
The Vols went three-and-out on the following possession, but the Bulldogs gave it right back when Murray's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and caught by Byron Moore, who returned it 35-yards for a touchdown.
Georgia needed just one play to find the end zone on its ensuing drive as Marshall scampered 75-yards to put the Bulldogs up 14-7.
Derrick Brodus nailed a 34-yard field goal to pull Tennessee within 14-10.
Georgia went up 27-10 following a pair of Gurley touchdowns.
Gurley's 1-yard plunge capped a 75-yard march, highlighted by a 31-yard completion to Tavrres King to put the ball on the Vols' 8. King was stopped just short of the goal line on 2nd down before Gurley recorded his second score of the game.
Following a Bray interception, Gurley broke off a 51-yard TD run, but Tennessee scored 20 unanswered to take the lead.
A.J. Johnson punched it in from 1-yard out to finish off a 10-play drive.
The Vols forced a fumble inside the Georgia 10, and Bray connected with Zach Rogers in the end zone three plays later for the score.
The Bulldogs coughed it up again, this time on their own 18-yard line, and Tennessee turned it into seven points as Bray found Neal for a 10-yard score.
Marshall Morgan's 50-yarder as time expired in the first half sent the teams into the locker room tied at 30-30.
Murray orchestrated a quick six-play march on the Bulldogs first possession of the third to go up 37-30. Murray found Arthur Lynch down the sideline for 38 yards and three Gurley rushes put the ball on the Tennessee nine. Two plays later Murray found Bennett all alone for the score.
Murray connected with Bennett across the middle on the Bulldog's following possession to go up 43-30.
Cordarrelle Patterson's 46-yard run on a double-reverse pulled the Vols within 43-37. Patterson took the ball in the backfield and followed Bray, who took out a Georgia defender, before racing to the end zone.
Georgia answered right back when Marshall broke a 72-yard run for a score. Murray then found Marlon Brown for the two-point conversion.
Tennessee's last scoring drive went 55 yards in 13 plays, capped by Neal's 9- yard touchdown run.Game Notes
The 30-30 halftime score was the highest combined total of points in the first
half of an SEC game in the history of the conference ... Tennessee holds a
21-19-2 all-time series advantage ... Georgia allowed more points (44) than it
has in its last three games (43).