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Tennessee falls to Georgia, 44-21

The Bulldogs outscored the Vols 27-0 in the second half to win.

ATHENS, Ga. — The Vols fall to Georgia for the fourth consecutive season, losing 44-21 in Athens on Saturday.

Tennessee’s first score of the game occurred in the first minute of the game. A bad snap from Georgia center Trey Hill landed in the end zone and Kivon Bennett recovered the football for a touchdown.

The Vols punted on its first three offensive drives, before scoring twice on long touchdown passes from quarterback Jarrett Guarantano to wide receiver Josh Palmer.

The Tennessee defense stuffed the Bulldogs at the goal line as time expired in the first half, giving the Vols a 21-17 lead into halftime.

That momentum did not carry into the final two quarters.

The Vols had a chance to take a two-possession lead to start the second half but fumbled inside their own territory. Georgia took advantage of the turnover and kicked a field goal to shorten UT’s lead to one. Guarantano threw an interception on the ensuing Tennessee drive, leading to another Bulldogs field goal to give them the lead.

Trailing 23-21, Tennessee’s next two drives totaled minus 2 yards and ended in punts. Georgia completed a 62-yard touchdown drive after the Vols’ second punt to extend its lead at the end of the third quarter.  

The Bulldogs created a larger lead in the fourth quarter. First, they scored a touchdown on an eight-play, 66-yard dive. Then the defense forced a Guarantano fumble that Monty Rice returned for another touchdown.

Georgia scored 14 points in the final 15 minutes to beat Tennessee by 22.

The Vols had just minus-one rushing yard and were 4/17 on third down.

The loss snaps Tennessee’s eight-game winning streak, which was the longest of power five teams. The Vols return to Neyland next week to face the Kentucky Wildcats.