Sept. 29, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 5 University of Georgia football team handed the Tennessee Volunteers a 51-44 loss in front of 92,746 fans and a nationally televised CBS audience on Saturday afternoon in Athens, Ga. With the win, Georgia moves to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Tennessee falls to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the SEC.
Aaron Murray led the Georgia passing attack, going 19-for-25 for 278 yards and two touchdowns. Murray's top target was Michael Bennett, who finished with 70 yards on five touches. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for 302 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Marshall finished with 10 carries for 167 yards and two scores. Gurley rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.
Alec Ogletree led Georgia's defensive effort, finishing with 14 tackles, including six solo stops. Bacarri Rambo added nine tackles, including three solo stops. Sanders Commings finished with five tackles and two interceptions. Damian Swann had Georgia's other interception.
Georgia put seven points on the board on its opening drive to take an early lead. Murray led the team on a 13 play, 84-yard drive that took 6:06 off the clock. Gurley capped off the drive with a 2-yard run. Tennessee tied the game 7-7 with an interception on the first play of Georgia's second drive. Byron Moore took a tipped pass 35 yards to the end zone for six.
Marshall answered with a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the following drive that put the Bulldogs back on top. Marshall Morgan's extra point made it 14-7. On its next possession, UT drove down to the Georgia 16-yard line, but had to settle for a 34-yard field goal by Derrick Brodus that made it 14-10.
The Bulldogs scored the next 13 points to take a 21-10 lead. Tavarres King set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Gurley with a 31-yard pass to the Tennessee eight. Damien Swann's interception of Tyler Bray near midfield resulted in a 51-yard touchdown run by Gurley.
Tennessee put together a 10-play, 50-yard scoring drive midway through the second quarter that cut the Bulldog lead to 10 at 27-17. A pair of Georgia fumbles in its own territory led to two quick scores by Tennessee that gave it its first lead of the day at 30-27. Murray marched the Bulldogs downfield, and as time expired, Morgan kicked a 50-yard field goal that sent the teams into the locker room tied at 30.
Murray completed a 38-yard pass to Arthur Lynch in the first play of the second half. A few plays later, Michael Bennett was on the receiving end of an 8-yard touchdown pass that put Georgia back on top 37-30, following the PAT.
Josh Harvey-Clemmons blocked a Tennessee punt to set the Bulldogs up at the UT 47-yard with just over 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Murray capped off a four-play, 46-yard drive with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Bennett. The PAT was blocked, resulting in a 43-30 lead. Tennessee answered with a 78-yard drive that resulted in seven points and made it a 43-37 game. Marshall responded with a 73-yard touchdown run that extended Georgia's lead. A two-point conversion made it a 14-point game by 51-37.
Tennessee added a touchdown that made it a 51-44 game with 8:56 left in the game. The Vols kept it on the ground and rushed for 43 yards during the drive. The Vols forced Georgia to punt late in the game, getting the ball back with just over seven minutes to play. Tennessee had its chances in the waning minutes of the game, getting the ball back three times in the final six minutes. The final three drives ended in turnovers, including two by Commings.
Georgia heads to Columbia, S.C., for a top-10 matchup with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.