Sep 16, 2023; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Carson Beck (15) runs past South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Bryan Thomas Jr. (46) during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Georgia seeing red in red zone, up for UAB test

A offensive performance has top-ranked Georgia geared up to generate points when it hosts UAB on Saturday night in Athens, Ga.

The Bulldogs overcame a 14-3 halftime deficit to post a 24-14 victory over visiting South Carolina behind rushing touchdowns from running backs Daijun Edwards and Cash Jones and wideout Dillon Bell.

But issues in the red zone, with and without the ball, have head coach Kirby Smart fired up to fix the shortcomings before the Bulldogs hit the road next week for the first time this season.

Edwards finished with team highs in carries (20) and yards (118) and scored on a 7-yard run. Jones had two carries for 20 yards and added one reception for 11 yards. Bell had seven carries for 23 yards and added a 16-yard reception.

Quarterback Carson Beck connected with nine different receivers and completed 27 of 35 passes for 269 yards in his first Southeastern Conference start. Despite having just 98 yards through the air at halftime — with his longest completion just 11 yards — Beck found his rhythm in the second half and led the Bulldogs (3-0) to their first conference win.

“He did a good job,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “He throws the ball downfield well. I thought he got rid of the ball when he had to, made plays with his feet and took off running. I thought Carson did a tremendous job of being the commander of this offense.”

Georgia entered the red zone six times versus South Carolina but only scored three touchdowns.

“Things weren’t working out,” Beck said. “We weren’t executing on all levels. We got down to the red zone two or three times, we just weren’t able to punch it in, which we’ve got to do better at.”

Kicker Peyton Woodring missed two field goals — one was blocked — after making his first attempt of the game, a 31-yarder, on the Bulldogs’ opening drive.

Woodring is 3 of 6 on field goal attempts and has missed two inside the 30-yard line. Attempts from 28 and 43 yards go in the books as misses.

“We’ve seen much better in practice,” Smart said. “We’ve got to do something there.”

UAB (1-2) opened the season with a 35-6 win over North Carolina A&T in the debut of head coach Trent Dilfer. The Blazers, however dropped a 49-35 decision to Georgia Southern and 41-21 setback to Louisiana in subsequent weeks.

Quarterback Jacob Zeno (956 yards and six touchdowns passing, 94 yards rushing and two scores) and wideout Samario Rudolph (14 receptions for 127 yards and a TD) have been the top playmakers on offense.

But UAB has had trouble running the ball and stopping opposing offenses. The Blazers have averaged 125 yards on the ground and are permitting 32 points per game.

If UAB has any chance at pulling an upset in primetime, it will have to get better production in both areas.

“As Blazers, we got to get better at football,” Dilfer said. “We got to get better at coaching. We got to get better at running this building. The challenge only gets greater playing a, not good, but great Georgia team at their place.”

UAB is playing a No. 1-ranked team for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs lead the series 3-0.

–Field Level Media

Georgia running back Kendall Milton (2) goes over the top to score a touchdown during the first half of a NCAA college football game against Ball State in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.

No. 1 Georgia routs Ball St. behind 31-point 2nd quarter

Carson Beck passed for 283 yards and two touchdowns and No. 1 Georgia rolled to a 45-3 victory over Ball State in Athens, Ga., on Saturday.

Roderick Robinson II, Dillon Bell and Kendall Milton each scored a rushing touchdown. A dozen players caught at least one pass for Georgia.

Mekhi Mews put the Bulldogs (2-0) on the board with a 69-yard punt return.

Georgia limited Ball State to 224 total yards.

Ball State quarterback Kadin Semonza was picked off three times in the first half. Layne Hatcher passed for 82 yards for the Cardinals (0-2).

The Bulldogs led 31-0 at halftime with all the points coming in the second quarter.

Georgia came up empty on its first possession when Peyton Woodring missed a 28-yard field goal.

The Bulldogs didn’t break through until Mews fielded a Lucas Burrow punt at his 31-yard line and took it the distance during the opening minute of the second quarter.

Malaki Starks picked off a Semonza pass to stop Ball State’s next drive. Georgia then drove 78 yards, aided by a 37-yard Arian Smith reception, to make it 14-0.

The Bulldogs finished it off with a 7-yard pass from Beck to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint.

Georgia got the ball back at the Ball State 30 when Chaz Chambliss intercepted a deflected Semonza pass. Two plays later, Bell cut to his right and scored from 21 yards out.

Woodring kicked a 35-yard field goal with under two minutes remaining in the half.

Another interception, this one from Tykee Smith, set up Milton’s 1-yard plunge with 37 seconds remaining in the half.

Beck’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Cash Jones midway through the third quarter made it 38-0.

Robinson II scored on a 12-yard run in the final minute of the quarter. That was set up by Beck’s 41-yard pass to Oscar Delp.

The Cardinals finally got on the board with 9:05 remaining on Jackson Courville’s 28-yard field goal.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock (77) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia OL Devin Willock, recruiting staffer die in crash

Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member were killed in a single-car accident in Athens early Sunday morning, the school’s athletic department announced.

Two other members of the football program also were injured and are listed in stable condition.

Willock, 20, played in 12 games during the 2021 national championship season. The New Jersey native played in all 15 games (two starts) on the offensive line during the 2022 title-winning campaign.

Recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy also was killed. She was 24.

“We are all heartbroken and devastated with the loss of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. “Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, was a great teammate and a joy to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day. We grieve with their families for this tragic loss and will support them in every way possible.”

The accident came one day after Georgia celebrated its second consecutive national championship with a parade.

“The entire Georgia family is devastated by the tragic loss of football student-athlete Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy,” the university statement said. “Two other members of the football program were injured in the accident. They are both in stable condition, and we will continue to monitor their status with medical personnel.

“Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department. We ask that everyone keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time.”

Per the Athens-Clarke County Police, the accident involving a 2021 Ford Expedition occurred around 2:45 a.m. ET on Sunday. Police said the initial investigation indicated that the car left the road and struck two power poles and several trees.

Willock died at the scene, per police. LeCroy, who was driving, was transported to a local hospital by ambulance and died as a result of the injuries.

“The UGA Athletic Association will work with our medical team as well as our mental health and performance personnel to make sure we are providing the best support possible for our staff and student-athletes who are processing this grief,” the university said in a statement. “We can provide no further comment at this time but ask that everyone continue to keep those involved in your prayers.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs tight end Darnell Washington (0) looks on from the sideline after exiting the game with an injury against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the third quarter of the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia TE Darnell Washington (ankle) iffy for CFP final

Georgia tight end Darnell Washington is questionable for next week’s national championship game against TCU due to a sprained ankle, Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart confirmed.

Washington was injured in the first half of Saturday’s 42-41 victory over Ohio State in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. He was on crutches on the sideline during the second half.

“Hard to tell right now. It’s an ankle sprain. I don’t know if it’s high or low,” Smart told reporters after the game. “He tried to go back and couldn’t go back on it. We’ll have to evaluate and see. The good news is he’s got more than a normal week. I know he’ll do everything he can to get back.”

Washington, a 6-foot-7, 270-pound junior, caught one pass for 9 yards against the Buckeyes. He has 27 receptions for 426 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games this season.

Defending champion Georgia (14-0) takes on TCU (13-1) on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. The Horned Frogs defeated Michigan 51-45 in Saturday’s other CFP semifinal.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2022; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) passes the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Georgia focuses on SEC title in matchup with No. 14 LSU

Georgia almost certainly is going to the College Football Playoff regardless of what happens in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday in Atlanta.

LSU is not going to the CFP regardless of what happens in the SEC Championship Game.

Nonetheless, the No. 1 Bulldogs (12-0, 8-0 SEC), champions of the East Division, and the No. 14 Tigers (9-3, 6-2), champions of the West Division, both have a lot to gain by winning on Saturday — a significant trophy and momentum going into whatever their next destination is.

The situation is very similar to the one Georgia faced last season when it was undefeated and No. 1 as it faced Alabama. The Bulldogs figured to go to the CFP even if they lost. The Crimson Tide needed to win to get in, and they played like it, upsetting the Bulldogs 41-24.

However, Georgia shook off the loss and took care of business in the CFP, beating Michigan in the semifinals and winning a rematch with Alabama for the national championship.

“We’re worried about winning the SEC championship,” Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said. “That’s the most important thing on our agenda. It’s tough to win an SEC championship. I’ve been part of this league for a long time. I have almost as many national championships as I do SEC championships.”

Georgia has not lost since last season’s SEC championship game. Only one of the Bulldogs’ games this season was decided by a touchdown or less — a 26-22 victory at Missouri on Oct. 1.

A victory on Saturday would give Georgia a chance to accomplish something even last year’s team didn’t — an undefeated national championship season.

“It’s not about last year’s team or a comparison,” Smart said. “It’s about that next step and having an opportunity to put a number on the wall that stays there forever. It’s an SEC championship. I think our players take a lot of pride in that.”

LSU, in its first season under former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, was in strong contention for a CFP berth before being upset by unranked Texas A&M 38-23 in its regular-season finale.

“We’ve had certainly some bumps in the road, but we’ve had some great achievements in developing our program here in the first year,” Kelly said. “Our football team has gotten better as the season has gone along.

“This is a great challenge, but one that we’re excited about. We want to be able to represent the SEC West and certainly play to our standard.”

The Tigers, who lost to Florida State in their season opener and to Tennessee on Oct. 1, didn’t play to their season-long standard against the Aggies. LSU’s John Emery Jr. ran for three touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough.

That loss dropped them nine spots in the CFP rankings Tuesday night, though they can still earn a substantial bowl berth by winning Saturday.

“This group has a lot of fight,” Kelly said. “That’s why they’ll go to Atlanta, and they will fight, and they will play hard for four quarters, and they will give everything they have against a very talented Georgia team.”

The Tigers will attempt to slow a Bulldogs passing attack led by quarterback Stetson Bennett (3,151 yards, 16 touchdowns, six interceptions).

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2022; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) runs with the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Georgia stays undefeated, dominates Georgia Tech

No. 1 Georgia started slowly before pulling away from visiting Georgia Tech for a 37-14 victory on Saturday at Athens, Ga., giving the Bulldogs consecutive undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history.

Stetson Bennett went just 10-of-18 passing for 140 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs (12-0), who will face No. 5 LSU in the SEC title game on Dec. 3.

Georgia Tech (5-7) missed becoming bowl eligible for the fourth straight season after falling to its in-state rival for the fifth straight year and for the 18th time in the past 21 meetings.

The Bulldogs trailed 7-0 after the Yellow Jackets’ first drive before scoring the game’s next 37 points.

Kenny McIntosh rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and caught two passes for 96 yards for Georgia, while Brock Bowers had five catches, including a 1-yard touchdown, for 20 yards.

Georgia Tech’s Zach Gibson went 19-of-35 passing for 191 yards, with Nate McCollum catching six passes for 65 yards. Dontae Smith rushed for 34 yards on 10 carries, in addition to throwing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Carter.

Leading 10-7 at halftime, Georgia extended its lead to 20-7 when Jack Podlesny’s 50-yard field goal was followed by Bennett’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Bowers with 5:51 left in the third quarter.

Jamie Felix fumbled on Georgia Tech’s next play from scrimmage, with Georgia’s Robert Beal Jr. recovering on the Yellow Jackets’ 20-yard line. Podlesny’s 36-yard field goal extended the lead to 23-7 with 4:11 left in the quarter.

McIntosh followed an 83-yard reception with a 2-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 30-7 with 13:45 left in the game.

Kendall Milton’s 44-yard touchdown run made it 37-7 with 11:13 to go before Smith capped the scoring with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Carter on a halfback-option pass with 2:55 left.

Georgia Tech, which lost to Georgia 45-0 last year, took a 7-0 lead on backup quarterback Taisun Phommachanh’s 7-yard touchdown with 10:43 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs pulled to within 7-3 on Podlesny’s 30-yard field goal with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.

Georgia took the lead for good on its next possession when Bennett threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint with 7:59 left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) passes the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third quarter at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Georgia out to continue dominance of Georgia Tech

Top-ranked Georgia will look to secure consecutive undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history by continuing its dominance over in-state rival Georgia Tech on Saturday in Athens, Ga.

The game, which is nicknamed “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate,” has become as one-sided as any in the nation. Georgia has won the past four meetings by an average of 36.3 points after a 45-0 win last year. The Bulldogs have beaten the Yellow Jackets in 17 of the past 20 meetings.

Georgia (11-0, 8-0 SEC) is coming off a 16-6 victory at Kentucky on Saturday and will play in the SEC title game for the fifth time in the past six years when it faces LSU on Dec. 3.

Georgia Tech (5-6, 4-4 ACC) rallied from a 17-0 second-quarter deficit to pull out a 21-17 upset of then-No. 13 North Carolina (9-2, 6-1 ACC) on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Yellow Jackets, however, must defeat Georgia to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2018.

Georgia is first nationally in scoring defense (11.09 points per game), third in rushing defense (83.1 yards per game), fifth in total defense (272.1 ypg) and 11th in scoring offense (38.4 points).

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,011 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions, leading an offense that is seventh in the country in yards per game (496.3).

Tight end Brock Bowers has 41 receptions for 625 yards with four touchdowns, while Ladd McConkey has 46 catches for 606 yards and four touchdowns. Kenny McIntosh has been a threat out of the backfield with 33 receptions for 341 yards and a score, in addition to rushing for 568 yards and seven scores on 111 carries.

The Bulldogs’ Daijun Edwards is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, having rushed for 547 yards and seven touchdowns on 107 carries.

Georgia Tech has gone 4-3 under interim coach Brent Key, who was promoted from assistant head coach and run game coordinator after the school fired Geoff Collins following a loss to Central Florida on Sept. 24 that dropped the Yellow Jackets to 1-3.

Key, however, could be coaching his final game with the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech also fired athletic director Rick Stansbury and hired J Batt, the former executive deputy director of athletics, chief operating officer and chief revenue officer at Alabama.

“I’m worried about Georgia, it’s the No. 1 team in the country,” Key said. “It’s the biggest challenge of my life right now, taking this group over there to Athens at 12 o’clock on Saturday.

“It’s Georgia and Georgia Tech, and that’s why you come to school here, is to play this game, it’s an honor.”

The Yellow Jackets’ two quarterback system of Zach Gibson, who went 13-for-18 passing for 174 yards, and Taisun Phommachanh, who went 2-for-5 passing for 13 yards in addition to rushing for 44 yards and a score on 10 carries, led an offense that amassed 373 yards against the Tar Heels.

The defense held North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, a Heisman Trophy candidate, to 16-for-30 passing for 202 yards and an interception.

“They’re playing really well now. They’re playing really hard now,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I think (Key) has done a tremendous job at getting these guys to compete.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Kenny McIntosh (6) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Georgia grinds to 11-0 with road win over Kentucky

More efficient than spectacular, top-ranked Georgia closed out a perfect run through its Southeastern Conference schedule Saturday with a 16-6 win over Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.

The Bulldogs (11-0, 8-0) never really pulled away from the Wildcats (6-5, 3-5) but were never really threatened. Georgia scored on all three of its first-half possessions, although all were field goals, and finally tacked on a touchdown with a 9-yard run by Kenny McIntosh at the 6:22 mark of the third quarter.

Kentucky’s only points came when Will Levis threw an 8-yard scoring strike to Barion Brown with 9:52 left in the game. But the Wildcats weren’t able to convert on a 2-point pass that could have brought them within a score.

Kentucky missed on another chance to draw within one possession when a bad snap led to a poor hold with the laces facing the kicker that led Matt Ruffalo to hook a 38-yard field goal wide left with 4:17 remaining.

It was the second straight year that the Bulldogs ran through the SEC undefeated. They won this game with defense and the running game. They outgained the Wildcats 247-89 on the ground, limiting Kentucky’s star back Chris Rodriguez to 51 yards on 17 attempts.

Levis completed 20 of 31 passes for 206 yards and an interception. Brown was his main target with 10 catches for 145 yards.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett didn’t have much of an impact, hitting 13 of 19 passes for 116 yards with an interception. But McIntosh took up slack with 143 yards on 19 rushes.

Jack Podlesny accounted for all the first-half points for the Bulldogs, connecting on field goals of 27, 24 and 37 yards. Georgia hogged the ball for just over five minutes on each of its first two drives before squeezing 11 plays and 56 yards into the half’s final 2:03.

The Bulldogs outgained Kentucky 363-295 but were held to fewer than 26 points for the first time this season.

–Field Level Media

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) warms up before the start of a NCAA college football game between Tennessee and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

News Joshua L Jones

No. 1 Georgia brings well-rounded game to Mississippi State

After taking the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings, Georgia will look to prove it belongs there against Mississippi State in Southeastern Conference play on Saturday in Starkville, Miss.

Georgia (9-0, 6-0 SEC), which was third in the initial CFP rankings, is coming off a dominating, 27-13 home win last week over then-No. 1 Tennessee, which fell to No. 5.

Mississippi State (6-3, 3-3) defeated visiting Auburn 39-33 in overtime last week to end a two-game slide.

Georgia can win its fifth SEC East title in the past six years with a win over Mississippi State or a victory next week at No. 24 Kentucky. Georgia also advances to the SEC title game if Tennessee loses any of its three remaining league games, beginning with Saturday’s contest against visiting Missouri.

While Mississippi State outgained Auburn 370-331 in total yards and squandered an 21-point lead against the Tigers, Georgia’s performance against Tennessee showed why it’s are regarded as the country’s most complete team.

Tennessee entered its game against Georgia leading the country in total offense (553 yards per game) and points (49.4 per game), but the Volunteers mustered just 289 yards and 13 points — with their lone touchdown coming in the final five minutes.

Georgia ranks second nationally in scoring defense (10.78 ppg) and is tied for fourth in total defense (265.6 ypg), sixth in rushing defense (86.4 ypg) and tied for sixth in first downs allowed (126).

On offense, Georgia is first in red-zone scoring percentage (.980), third in total offense (514.2 ypg), 10th in passing offense (320.2 ypg) and 11th in scoring offense (40.1 ppg).

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Tight end Brock Bowers has 34 receptions for 574 yards with three touchdowns for Georgia, while Ladd McConkey has 38 catches for 507 yards and three touchdowns. Kenny McIntosh has been a threat out of the backfield with 31 receptions for 322 yards and a score in addition to rushing for 384 yards and six scores on 79 carries.

Daijun Edwards is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, having rushed for 486 yards and seven touchdowns on 87 carries.

Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, asked what it would take to beat the nation’s top-ranked team, said, “Focus on what you do and have discipline. The hardest thing is to get the message to everyone. It’s easy to say it, but everyone has to buy it and believe it. Just worry about what you do, worry about your job.”

Mississippi State’s defense, which features cornerback Emmanuel Forbes and his SEC-high five interceptions, has given up at least 24 points in five of six league games this season.

However, Mississippi State has been much better on offense.

Behind Will Rogers, who has completed 68.3 percent of his passes for an SEC-leading 2,912 yards and 26 touchdowns against just five interceptions, Mississippi State is eighth in passing offense (325.6) and 11th in red-zone scoring percentage (.926).

Rara Thomas has 36 receptions for 540 yards and five scores for Mississippi State. Dillon Johnson (71 carries, 406 yards, 3 TDs) and Jo’quavious Marks (77 carries, 357 yards, 7 TDs) lead an improved rushing attack.

“They’re really gashing people running the ball this year,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I think that’s the biggest difference — they are committed to running the ball and being physical up front.

“People have the wrong demeanor when they go to play this team that, ‘Oh, man, I’m going to go out here and pass rush and get all these sacks.’ They’re not going to let you do that.”

Georgia has won 12 of the past 13 meetings between the teams, including a 31-24 home win in the latest matchup, in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Georgia defensive lineman Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins (93) dives for possession of the ball during Tennessee's game against Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

Kns Vols Georgia Bp

Georgia outclasses No. 1 Tennessee in convincing showdown victory

Stetson Bennett passed for two touchdowns and rushed for one to lead No. 3 Georgia to a convincing 27-13 victory over top-ranked Tennessee in Southeastern Conference play Saturday afternoon at Athens, Ga.

Bennett completed 17 of 25 passes for 257 yards and Ladd McConkey caught five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown as the Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 SEC) defeated Tennessee for the sixth consecutive time. Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint also had a scoring reception.

Jalen Carter forced two fumbles, Javon Bullard had two sacks and Kelee Ringo had an interception for Georgia, which held the Volunteers to 2 of 14 on third-down conversions.

Hendon Hooker was 23-of-33 passing for 195 yards and one interception for Tennessee (8-1, 4-1). Hooker had thrown a touchdown pass in 20 consecutive games prior to being unable to find the end zone against the Bulldogs.

Jaylen Wright rushed for a touchdown for the Volunteers, but standout receiver Jalin Hyatt had just six catches for 63 yards.

Georgia played without standout linebacker Nolan Smith, who will miss the rest of the season with a pectoral injury. But the Bulldogs still outgained Tennessee 387 to 289.

Tennessee landed the No. 1 spot in the first College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday, but was routinely outclassed by the Bulldogs.

Jack Podlesny booted a 38-yard field goal with 1:09 left in the third quarter to give Georgia a 27-6 lead. Tennessee attempted to rally in a driving rainstorm, but Wright’s 5-yard scoring run with 4:15 left was all the Volunteers could manage.

Georgia outgained the Volunteers 306 to 139 while building a 24-6 halftime lead.

Tennessee struck first on Chase McGrath’s 47-yard field goal before the Bulldogs scored the next 21 points.

Bennett scored on a 13-yard keeper with 8:32 left in the first quarter and later connected with McConkey on a 37-yard scoring pass to make it 14-3 with 3:32 left in the period.

Georgia tacked on another score when Bennett hit Rosemy-Jacksaint on a 5-yard touchdown pass 43 seconds into the second quarter.

McGrath’s 36-yard field goal cut the Volunteers’ deficit to 21-6 with 9:36 left in the half. Podlesny kicked a 19-yarder for the Bulldogs as time expired in the half.

–Field Level Media