College Football: Georgia 26, Tennessee 14
ATHENS, Ga. ó Georgia is back on track for another SEC title chase, and it’s not too early to rule Tennessee out of the race.
Matthew Stafford passed for a career-best 310 yards, Knowshon Moreno ran for 101 yards and No. 10 Georgia beat Tennessee 26-14 on Saturday, leaving the Volunteers 0-3 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time in 20 years.
Georgia (5-1 overall, 2-1 SEC) recovered from its loss to Alabama on Sept. 27 by dominating the reeling Vols.
Georgia gained 458 yards on 81 plays, held Tennessee to 209 yards on 45 plays and had a 29-10 advantage in first downs.
It was a sweet victory for Georgia, which had lost two straight games and three of the last four in the rivalry. Senior receiver Mohamed Massaquoi said last year’s 35-14 loss at Tennessee may have been the low point of his career.
“Probably, because the way they beat us there wasn’t any question of who showed up that day,” he said. “We didn’t show up and they outplayed us in every aspect of the game. You want to bounce back and let them know you’re there to play.”
Added Massaquoi: “No one can say this is not a rivalry now.”
Massaquoi had five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee (2-4) netted only 1 yard on the ground. Senior Arian Foster had only three carries for three yards.
“I don’t know where our running game has gone,” Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said. “Offensively we’re just not getting any rhythm.”
Foster rushed for 98 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s win over Georgia. He’s been held under 40 yards rushing in all three of the Voles’ SEC losses.
Fulmer said he was braced for criticism after Tennessee’s worst SEC start in his 17 years as coach.
“Everybody in the world is going to talk about me, about the staff,” Fulmer said.
“I’m going to look them in the eye and say ‘I’m not quitting.’ We’ve kicked butt before. We’re getting ours kicked now. It will cycle back around.”