Easily one of the strangest games I’ve witnessed in Sanford Stadium – Georgia dominated the stats from the start, and yet Tennessee narrowed the lead twice in the game to six points (once as late as the early third quarter). It should have been at least a three touchdown rout, maybe a lot more, but I loved the way the game played out in the end.
A few observations:
- Southerland looked a little rusty, which shouldn’t have come as any big surprise. Chapas, on the other hand, did surprise with a career day.
- MoMass had an incredible game. Some of it was by design – UT’s defense was very clearly set up to stop Moreno first and A. J. Green second. It may not have been clear on TV, but Massaquoi was allowed to roam freely in the Vol secondary; Stafford missed at least two or three other opportunities to hit him when he was wide open. But the kid played tough and had one incredible catch that he had to stretch out to make. He also contributed his usual stout job blocking downfield and on screens. The best moment of the day was seeing him catch the TD pass after taking the cheap shot to the head earlier in the same drive.
- I have no idea why Georgia wasn’t awarded a first down on that defensive holding call inside the UT five.
- Blair Walsh continues to be one cool customer kicking field goals.
- One freaking yard rushing? Willie Martinez gets some credit for drawing up a good game plan. This week, he didn’t have his secondary sitting back in a soft zone and it paid off, except on a couple of occasions when his defense didn’t generate a pass rush and gave Stephens too much time to set and throw.
- It was good to see Rod Battle back and contributing.
- It sure seemed like the UT defense goes out of its way looking for head shots.
- If I was the next player asked to start at left tackle, I might be a bit hesitant. And you have to wonder if Kiante Tripp is about to change positions again.
- You can criticize Bobo for going to the well once too often with some of his calls (and several people sitting around me at the game certainly did), like the screen pass and the fade pass in the end zone that Stafford got burned on spectacularly. But that last drive was a thing of beauty, and most of it was nothing more than challenging the UT defense to stop the simple toss sweep. And it couldn’t.