Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs made life miserable for Georgia’s defense.
Dobbs’ 6-3, 207-pound frame bulldozed through Georgia defensive linemen, linebackers and safeties for a total of 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
“It is frustrating,” inside linebacker Jake Ganus said. “It’s a lack of execution, missed tackling, stuff like that. We have to clean it up and get better at that.”
Although Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd only ran for 84 yards on 21 carries, he was also tough for the Georgia defense to tackle. Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt lamented over the fact the Bulldogs could not slow down a Tennessee rushing attack that totaled 223 total yards on 48 carries.
“We had guys in position to make plays," Pruitt said. "We have to finish."
More concerning for the Bulldogs, in a bigger-picture sense, is the fact that Tennessee ran 90 offensive plays. The Volunteers were able to balance its attack, with Dobbs completing 25 of 42 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second time Dobbs has thrown for 300 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game during his Tennessee career.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt said a few of the Bulldogs’ blitz packages failed to get to Dobbs when he was throwing, which allowed for some receivers to come open.
“You bring certain pressures and you expect to get to the quarterback before he can step up and throw into some seams that are bigger because you’re bring more people,” Richt said. “I know that happened once or twice. Any time a guy can hold the ball long enough, most of the time somebody is going to come open sooner or later. There were times we got to him, pressured him, batted balls down. There were times we gave him more space and time in that pocket than we’d like to have with the coverage we had.”
This marked the second consecutive week where Georgia’s secondary had issues covering receivers. A week ago against Alabama, the Crimson Tide were able to hit some big plays in the passing game.
This week, the same occurred, with Georgia’s defense on its heels throughout.
“You gotta be able to finish,” Pruitt said. “We gave them a couple of easy throws and that’s on me. That’s one thing we’ve not been doing. We did it last week and we did it this week. We gave guys easy throws and I have to do a better job getting the guys ready to execute a game plan.”