Tennessee Report Card: Week 5 at No. 12 Georgia
Here’s how Tennessee graded in its 35-32 Week 5 loss to No. 12 Georgia.
Tennessee’s offense totaled 401 yards in Saturday’s loss. Justin Worley had his best performance against an SEC rival for his career. Jalen Hurd set a new career-high with 119 yards and a touchdown, his first game rushing for over 100-yards. Tennessee’s receivers accounted for 284 yards and three touchdowns on 27 catches made by nine different players.
The Vols’ only mistakes came on late-game fumbles, with one being a communication issue between backup quarterback Nathan Peterman and tailback Marlin Lane. But Tennessee saw its strongest offensive showing since Week 2 and could have easily been the victor.
Todd Gurley rushed for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. The bulk of Gurley’s yards came on big late-game runs, including a 51-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, Tennessee’s defense looked dominant against Georgia’s offense. The Vols forced Georgia to a 1-of-10 third down efficiency and managed to keep the rest of the ground game contained.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Aaron Medley had his best showing of the season on Saturday. He went 1-for-1 on a 46 yard attempt on Tennessee’s opening drive. Medley also went 3-for-3 on extra point attempts. Matt Darr punted for a total of 357 yards, a 44.6 average and four punts inside the 20-yard line. Tennessee’s special teams managed to keep Gurley and Isaiah McKenzie from breaking touchdown runs on several combined attempts.
Butch Jones and company made the right moves to keep Tennessee in Saturday’s game facing a highly-favored matchup. The Vols exceeded the expectations of many and were a few bad breaks away from pulling off an upset in Athens. Much like last year’s game, the outcome could have easily gone either way and Jones looked like the more experienced coach with a meager amount of talent.
Tennessee did everything it could to challenge a highly favored Georgia team on the road and ran into a Heisman Trophy favorite carrying his team to victory, and the Vols should have pulled the upset. There were several “what ifs” in Saturday’s game, but the biggest was Worley’s elbow injury. Had Worley stayed in, the Vols would likely have done more to threaten Georgia’s lead.