KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee needed breaks to go its way against a superior No. 7-ranked Georgia team Saturday afternoon.
Instead, the Bulldogs (5-0) were making their own breaks before the capacity crowd of 102,455 at Neyland Stadium in a 41-0 victory over the Vols (3-2).
It was the first time since 1994 that Tennessee suffered a shutout, a streak of 289 games that dated back to a 31-0 loss to Florida.
Tennessee pulled starting quarterback Quinten Dormady after he was 5-of-16 passing for 64 yards with two interceptions against the nation’s No. 2-ranked defense (efficiency).
Dormady was intercepted at the Vols’ 27 on the first play of the game, and things went downhill from there.
• Tennessee legend Peyton Manning was honored at halftime of the game, as he’s the 23rd former Vols to be selected into the College Football Hall of Fame. Manning threw a touchdown pass to former Tennessee teammate Joey Kent during the halftime.
• Cornerback Justin Martin had an interception at the Georgia 27 on the first play of the second quarter. Martin also had a pass break-up to deny the Bulldogs a third-down conversion.
• Sophomore safety Nigel Warrior made some big tackles, including an open-field tackle on Georgia tailback Sony Michel to prevent a third-down conversion.
• Redshirt freshman QB Jarrett Guarantano entered the game with the Vols down 31-0, and while he failed to lead a TD drive, he was 6-of-7 passing for 16 yards and had a 6-yard run.
• John Kelly ran just as hard as ever, even without much blocking up front. Kelly had a 44-yard pass catch, but the ball was stripped from him as he fought for extra yardage at the Georgia 33 with 10:30 left in the third quarter. Kelly had 16 carries for 44 yards and four catches for 47 yards.
• Senior center Jashon Robertson had a rough day, creating a critical turnover that cost Tennessee a scoring opportunity at a critical juncture, snapping the ball off his bottom at the Georgia 25 with the Vols down 10-0. Robertson also had a motion penalty on UT’s 2-minute drill drive on third down, leading to a third-and-19. Robertson also had a holding call declined.
• Sophomore offensive tackle Marcus Tatum got beat for a sack on a first-and-10 at the UT 44, putting the Vols in long down-and-distance. Tatum was also steamrolled to the effect of a 4-yard John Kelly loss.
• Freshman Josh Palmer keeps impressing the coaches in practice, but it isn’t translating to the games. Palmer let a pass go though his hands in the first quarter, and in the second quarter he failed to pull in a well-thrown ball, resulting in an interception that was returned 34 yards to the UT 26.
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