The game of the week in college football turned out to be not much of a game at all.
The No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs derailed the momentum of the No. 1 Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, squashing their visitors from Knoxville, TN, in a 27-13 victory. The defending national champions now stand alone at the top of the SEC East standings, with games against Mississippi State and Kentucky still left on their conference slate.
Georgia (9-0, 6-0 SEC) fell behind 3-0 in the first quarter before taking complete control of this matchup at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. A 13-yard touchdown run by Stetson Bennett IV gave the Bulldogs the lead and touchdown receptions by Ladd McConkey and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint extended their advantage. Their lead would not be in any jeopardy for the rest of the contest.
Tennessee (8-1, 4-1 SEC) ran into a brick wall and its usually explosive offense was stymied all afternoon. Heisman Trophy frontrunner Hendon Hooker was harassed by the Dawgs defense, going 23-33 for 195 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in the loss.
This game will have significant consequences for the College Football Playoff rankings release this Tuesday. By mashing the Vols, UGA will most likely vault up to No. 1 as it now has a crystal clear path to the SEC Championship Game.
For Tennessee, the committee most likely won’t punish the team too hard for losing here and it probably won’t fall any further than No. 6. UT’s hopes of making the SEC title game now rests in the hands of both Mississippi State and Kentucky pulling upsets over UGA, so that dream is not looking too good. However, if the Vols were to run the table the rest of the way, they could have a shot of sneaking into the playoff field with some help.