Quarterbacks Justin Fields and Jake Fromm both played today as the Georgia Bulldogs comfortably beat the Tennessee Volunteers 38-12 at Sanford Stadium. Fromm completed 16 of 22 passes for 185 yards while Fields scored two rushing touchdowns and led a 13 play, 75-yard drive that bled 7:30 off of the 4th quarter clock, putting the game out of Tennessee’s reach.
When asked about the plan going forward, Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart reiterated his position of there is “no plan” regarding any quarterback controversy or rotation in the future.
“I thought both guys did some good things,” Smart said. “I thought Justin provided us a spark that we needed at times. He’s a very diligent worker. He’s been meeting extra. He’s coming in to learn things and pick’em up. He gives us an asset in the offense that sometimes provides us with a spark.
“I thought Jake did a great job of commanding the offense, understanding where to go with the ball,” he continued. “If we don’t give up pressure on some of those third downs, he probably hits even bigger plays because there were some plays out there that we left hanging. A couple of them we didn’t have a chance because the pressure in the pocket. We’ve got to do a better job protecting him, but I was pleased with both of those guys play, they’re good football players.”
Georgia ran for 251 yards on 50 carries. Running back D’Andre Swift ran for two touchdowns. Elijah Holyfield led the ‘Dawgs rushing attack with 78 yards on sixteen carries. Brian Herrien ran for 56 yards with only nine touches.
“You go across the SEC, show me a team that goes out in the first quarter and runs it for five yards a down against an SEC front,” Smart explained. “I just don’t think it happens. I think all of us, including me, just says we’re going to go out there and run it down their throat, ‘We’re Georgia and they’re Tennessee.’
“It does not happen that way in this conference. It’s hard to run the ball, especially early,” Smart continued. “You must chop wood, continue to hit people, wear them down, you’ve got to have the threat of a pass and you’ve got to do it over-and-over. And the totality of it is what happened on that last drive.
The offensive line did a great job of wearing down Tennessee’s defensive line at the point of attack. Without Ben Cleveland, the Dawgs did not do a great job of protecting either quarterback.
Defensively, Safety J.R. Reed led Georgia with six tackles on the afternoon. Monty Rice, Natrez Patrick and D’Andre Walker each had five tackles. Defensive backs Tyrique McGhee and Richard LeCounte each had four tackles.
“I’m proud of the competition in the secondary,” Smart said. “Guys compete in practice, they’re getting better each and every week. We’ve got to continue to grow. I don’t know, you tell me. I don’t think we got tested a lot in the secondary out there today. I think they were playing the game to keep the game close, they didn’t take a whole lot of shots, but we continue to get better. Richard (LeCounte) practices hard. He’s going to be a good player, he’s fast, he’s physical, he’s getting better.”
The Georgia Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0 in Southeastern Conference) will play the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-2, 0-1 in Southeastern Conference) next Saturday night. Kickoff ‘Between the Hedges’ begins at 7:30 p.m.