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Here’s the AP recap:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jake Fromm threw a touchdown pass and ran for two more scores Saturday as No. 7 Georgia rolled to a 41-0 blowout of Tennessee, which suffered its first shutout loss in nearly a quarter-century, putting Volunteers’ coach Butch Jones’ job in jeopardy.
Nick Chubb added 109 yards rushing as Georgia raced to its first 5-0 start since 2012, the last year the Bulldogs reached the Southeastern Conference championship game.
Tennessee (3-2, 0-2) was shut out for the first time since a 31-0 loss to Florida in 1994.
The Bulldogs got more good news in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jacob Eason made his first appearance since spraining his left knee in the season opener. Fromm was 7 of 15 for 84 yards and also rushed for 20 yards before giving way to Eason with the game well in hand.
Before Saturday, none of the last six games in this series had been decided by more than eight points. Each of the last three years, the winning team had erased a double-digit deficit.
There would be no frantic finishes or dramatic comebacks this time. Georgia (2-0 SEC) made sure of it.
The game’s first play from scrimmage set the tone for the rest of the day. Georgia’s Tyrique McGhee picked off Quinten Dormady’s pass at Tennessee’s 27-yard line to set up Rodrigo Blankenship’s 38-yard field goal.
That started a tough afternoon for Dormady, who was 5 of 16 for 64 yards with two interceptions before Jarrett Guarantano replaced him late in the third quarter.
Fromm was much more effective.
The poised freshman found Javon Wims for a 12-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-5 play to give Georgia a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. He added touchdown runs of 9 and 4 yards in the second quarter as Georgia led 24-0 by halftime.
His biggest mistake came on the first play of the second quarter when Tennessee’s Justin Martin picked off a pass at the Georgia 27, but the Vols failed to capitalize. Tennessee’s best scoring chance vanished when a shotgun snap from center Jashon Robertson appeared to hit his rear end and came in low to Dormady, who couldn’t handle it. Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter recovered the fumble at the Georgia 29.
Even Tennessee’s biggest gain of the afternoon resulted in a turnover, as Aaron Davis forced a fumble by John Kelly that J.R. Reed recovered at the end of a 44-yard completion.
It was such a bad day for Tennessee that punter Trevor Daniel, one of the Vols’ most effective players this season, had a rare misstep. Daniel’s low punt early in the fourth quarter went off the face of Georgia’s D’Andre Walker to set up the Bulldogs’ final touchdown. Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected from the game on Georgia’s final touchdown drive.
Georgia: Now that Eason has returned to action, Georgia must decide how to use its quarterbacks the rest of the way. Fromm has played well enough the last month that Georgia coach Kirby Smart could have quite a dilemma on his hands once Eason’s back at full strength.
Tennessee: The Vols have plenty of questions to answer in their bye week. They need to decide whether to stick with Dormady or give Guarantano more playing time. If Dormady keeps the job, he must do better at avoiding turnovers. Tennessee also needs more consistency from its offensive line, which hasn’t created enough running room.
Georgia is at Vanderbilt.
Tennessee has next week off before hosting South Carolina on Oct. 14.
Here’s what you need to know:
When: Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Livestream: CBS Sports Online
Line: Georgia -7.5
Tennessee can’t quite explain the reasons for its lack of emotion in its last game, but the Volunteers understand they must not let it happen again.
The Vols (3-1, 0-1 SEC) showed an uncharacteristic lack of passion last week in a 17-13 victory over winless 27 1/2-point underdog Massachusetts. With No. 7 Georgia (4-0, 1-0) heading to Neyland Stadium this week, a repeat performance could prove disastrous.
“We can’t go out there and have the same energy we did last Saturday,” defensive tackle Kendal Vickers said. “It’s not going to end well if we do that.”
Vols coach Butch Jones called his team’s passion and energy level against UMass “very lackluster.”
“That’s something we will not tolerate,” Jones said. “We will not go backward with that. We’ll address that situation. You can make a lot of excuses for it, but there are no excuses for a lack of passion and energy.”
Tennessee’s lack of spirit last week was an odd look for a program that prides itself on resilience.
The Vols have won five games they trailed by double-digit margins since the start of the 2016 season. Each of the last two seasons, a Tennessee defensive player has chased someone down at the end of a 70-plus-yard run to turn a likely touchdown into a touchback .
That tenacity was missing against UMass in an apparent hangover effect from the Vols’ heartbreaking 26-20 loss to Florida a week earlier.
“I thought we had a few good practices last week, but we didn’t come out ready to play Saturday,” defensive end Kyle Phillips said. “That really hurt us and really, really impacted the game. Going into this game, it starts in practice. We have to bring that passion and energy during practice.”
The lack of passion against UMass carried over to the fan base. With about 10 minutes left in the game, it appeared that at least one-third of the crowd already had left a game that remained very much in doubt.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart expects a much different Neyland Stadium atmosphere this week with Tennessee seeking to beat the Bulldogs for a third straight year.
“It’s loud, loud, loud,” Smart said. “They’re right on top of you, and they’ve got two people in every one seat. You know that. It’s loud. It’s tough.”
Georgia is heading into Knoxville as an eight-point favorite, even though none of the last five games in this series has been decided by more than seven points. The point spread reveals how the Bulldogs enter this game on a roll while Tennessee has looked out of sorts.
Tennessee didn’t play particularly well against Florida, though the Vols showed their grit by erasing a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Vols never trailed against UMass but couldn’t put away an opponent that seemed overmatched on paper.
“I don’t know exactly what the cause was, other than we just need to have more energy from the start,” quarterback Quinten Dormady said.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)