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Bennett, No. 1 Georgia remain perfect, rout Tennessee 41-17

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Georgia Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 and simply completed off an ideal run by means of the Southeastern Conference schedule.

They’re not happy but.

Stetson Bennett ran for a landing and threw for an additional as Georgia routed Tennessee 41-17 Saturday.

The Bulldogs (10-0, 8-0, No. 1 CFP) went unbeaten within the SEC common season for the primary time for the reason that league cut up into divisions in 1992 and went to an eight-game schedule.

“Nobody thinks they’ve arrived,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart stated. “There’s things we can continue to work to get better at, and they’ll continue to do that. But tonight? They went through a tough gauntlet in our league and played well.”

Georgia already had its fourth berth within the SEC championship sport in 5 years locked up coming into this sport. The Bulldogs final went undefeated in league play in 1982 with a 6-0 mark, additionally the final time the Bulldogs began 10-0.

“I mean 39 years, I mean it’s special …” Bennett stated.

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The Bulldogs really trailed by their largest margin this season after Tennessee scored a landing on the opening drive. Georgia additionally was down 10-7 on the finish of the primary quarter, new territory for the Bulldogs, who had solely trailed by a area purpose every to Auburn and Missouri.

Georgia responded by reeling off 27 straight factors, together with 17 in a dominating second quarter. Derion Kendrick intercepted a move by Hendon Hooker, and Channing Tindall stripped Hooker of the ball — Tindall had three of Georgia’s six sacks.

“We didn’t come up here to take shots,” Smart stated. “We came up here to throw them.”

Bennett transformed the interception right into a 9-yard TD run halfway by means of the second, and he capped a 90-yard drive with a 23-yard TD pass to James Cook simply earlier than halftime. Cook additionally ran 10 occasions and matched his profession excessive with 104 yards and two more TDs. Stetson completed with 213 yards passing and ran for 40 extra.

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Tennessee (5-5, 3-4) had five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning, former All-Star first baseman Todd Helton and WNBA champ Candace Parker readily available together with an introduced crowd of 100,074 for a crew coming off a win at Kentucky, its first upset of a Top 20 crew on the street since 2006.

The Vols’ greatest win on this sport got here in with 3:38 left earlier than a number of empty seats. Joe Milton hit Cedric Tillman on a 12-yard TD, giving Tennessee essentially the most factors scored in opposition to Georgia in a sport this season.

“Me personally, simply understanding how laborious I’m on myself and the way a lot of an ordinary I maintain for this protection, I’m not glad about that landing, Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean stated.

Tennessee got here in second within the Bowl Subdivision scoring a mean of 1.59 factors per minute. Georgia and the stingiest scoring protection, which had allowed 6.6 factors a sport, merely smothered the Vols. The Bulldogs held Tennessee to 9 yards complete offense within the second quarter.

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THE TAKEAWAY

Georgia: The Bulldogs could not have turned within the dominating defensive efficiency they’ve grow to be recognized for this season. But they proved they may energy by means of with a number of sick gamers. Smart stated they pulled defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who had obtained fluids intravenously, at halftime as a result of his fever was over 100.

Tennessee: Hooker had his worst sport this season coming off his greatest sport in final week’s win over Kentucky with two turnovers, together with solely his third interception of the season. The Volunteers had probabilities to remain on this sport. But they settled for a area purpose after attending to the Georgia 7, turned it over on downs twice in Georgia territory, as soon as on the Bulldogs 17 and Hooker’s fumble got here on third-and-6 on the Georgia 7. Heupel pulled Hooker for Milton on the subsequent drive.

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”We had been just a bit bit off. A pair throws sailed on him,” Heupel stated of Hooker.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Georgia definitely did not harm itself. Beating an SEC rival must be spectacular sufficient to obtain all first-place votes once more.

UP NEXT

Georgia hosts Charleston Southern with the Bulldogs’ SEC slate completed. Georgia then finishes the common season in opposition to Georgia Tech.

Tennessee hosts South Alabama within the Vols’ first night time kickoff since shedding to Ole Miss.

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