NCAA FB

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 - 3:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

No. 5 Georgia stays undefeated

Watch highlights of Georgia's 51-44 win over Tennessee.
Watch highlights of Georgia's 51-44 win over Tennessee.
Share This Story

   
 

ATHENS, Ga. (AP)

Mark Richt looked past the mind-boggling offensive statistics to find the most important fact for his Georgia team.

When the game was on the line, Georgia made the plays. Even on defense.

Todd Gurley ran for three touchdowns and Keith Marshall added two as No. 5 Georgia recovered after blowing a 17-point lead to beat Tennessee 51-44 on Saturday in the highest-scoring game ever between the SEC rivals.

Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC), which had never scored more points against the Volunteers in 41 previous meetings, needed three takeaways in the final six minutes stay unbeaten. Twice Sanders Commings intercepted Tyler Bray's passes and in between the Tennessee quarterback was stripped from behind and the fumble was recovered by Georgia's John Jenkins.

''You can get into statistics, but the bottom line is a lot of games are going to come down to the end where somebody has to make a play,'' Richt said.

''It's nice to have a gut-check and come out on top.''

The Bulldogs' defensive plays in the closing minutes followed a game packed with offense.

WHO SETS THE CURVE?

Check out the FOXiest fans from schools across the country and tweet us your photo.

The previous high for points in the series was 84 in Tennessee's 51-33 win in 2006. On Saturday, the teams combined for 60 points in just the first half.

Georgia had 282 yards rushing as its two freshmen each topped 100 yards. With former Georgia standout Herschel Walker watching, Gurley had 24 carries for 130 yards. Marshall had 164 yards on only 10 carries.

Asked if he anticipated the high-scoring pace, Gurley said ''Probably not.''

''We know what we're capable of,'' said Gurley, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of his first five games. ''We did our thing. We executed.''

Aaron Murray threw two third-quarter touchdown passes to Michael Bennett for the Bulldogs.

Georgia led 27-10 early in the second quarter before Tennessee took the lead with 20 unanswered points.

Tennessee (3-2, 0-2 SEC) took its third straight loss in the series under coach Derek Dooley, the son of Georgia's former longtime coach Vince Dooley.

CFB ON FOX IN 2012-13

Get the latest FOX College football news, analysis and videos right here.

''We are better in a lot of areas, but we have to shore up the run defense,'' Derek Dooley said. ''Georgia is a great running team but we are a lot better than what we showed out there today. It was frustrating.''

Georgia plays at No. 6 South Carolina next week in a key SEC East game.

''We've been able to overcome the adversity we've had to this point,'' Richt said. ''The rest of the season hasn't been a whole lot of drama, but I'm sure there will be drama next week.''

Bray moved the Vols inside the Georgia 35 late in the game before he fumbled when hit by linebacker Jordan Jenkins. John Jenkins recovered with 1:22 remaining.

Bray had one more long-shot chance when the Vols took possession with 15 seconds remaining. Commings' interception on first down ended the game.

''Through all the disappointment, I think the team grew a lot,'' said Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera, who had three catches for 82 yards.

BLOODY GOOD

See the best action photos from last season.

Bray completed 24-of-45 passes for 281 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Rajion Neal had 104 yards rushing with a touchdown and also caught a touchdown pass.

Murray completed 19 of 25 for 278 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Murray also lost a fumble.

Entering the day, Tennessee had its most total yards through four games in school history, and Bray's 12 touchdown passes tied for the NCAA lead.

The Vols had 478 yards against Georgia.

Georgia, meanwhile, led the SEC with its average of 47.5 points after topping 40 points in its first four games for the first time in school history.

Following a 30-30 first half, Murray threw third-quarter touchdown passes of 8 and 32 yards to Bennett.

The game was a special teams mess for both sides.

There were three missed extra points, including two by Georgia. The Bulldogs blocked a punt and Tennessee's Derrick Brodus missed a 28-yard field goal.

The Vols' only touchdown in the first quarter came on Byron Moore's 35-yard interception return.

Tennessee capitalized on lost fumbles by Murray and Marshall and other mistakes for 20 unanswered points to take the lead.

Georgia's unraveling began when Malcolm Mitchell allowed a punt by Matt Darr to roll to the Bulldogs' 1. Georgia punted after three conservative running plays, setting up A.J. Johnson's 1-yard touchdown run from the Vols' ''Beast'' Wildcat formation.

On Georgia's second play, Murray fumbled when hit by blitzing linebacker Herman Lathers. Johnson recovered at the Georgia 8. On third down from the 4, Bray passed to Zach Rogers for a touchdown.

The deluge of mistakes continued for Georgia when Gurley caught the kickoff and stepped out of bounds at the 1. Four plays later, Marshall fumbled when hit by Curt Maggitt. Defensive end Darrington Sentimore recovered at the Georgia 18.

A facemask penalty on Georgia's Kwame Geathers helped pave the way for Neal's 10-yard touchdown pass from Bray for a 30-27 lead.

''I've always believed that this team has some fight in them,'' Dooley said. ''We just had to go out there and prove it. We got hit by a freight train early in the game, but we were able to fight back and get back into it. We went toe to toe with a top 10 team that will be competing for a national championship.''

Georgia All-America safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree returned from four-game suspensions. Ogletree led Georgia with 14 tackles.

Mitchell, who started at cornerback in his first three games, started at wide receiver and had four catches for 31 yards.

Tagged: Marshall, New Mexico, Tyler Bray, John Jenkins, Aaron Murray, Tennessee, Georgia

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash