A turnover during Georgia’s opening possession allowed Tennessee to take an early lead on the road Saturday afternoon in its highly anticipated showdown with the defending national champion Bulldogs. For the Vols, it all went downhill from there.
Georgia answered Tennessee’s early takeaway, which set up a 47-yard field goal by Chase McGrath, with a five-play scoring drive that produced the No. 3 Bulldogs’ go-ahead touchdown. They pulled away to a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back on the way to a 27-13 victory over the top-ranked and previously unbeaten Vols before a raucous, sellout crowd at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.
Tennessee’s fast-paced, high-scoring offense was silenced for most of the game by Georgia’s highly ranked defense and didn’t reach the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. Vols senior quarterback Hendon Hooker threw a rare interception — his second of the season — and was sacked six times.
Second-year Tennessee coach Josh Heupel met with reporters after the game. He discussed what went wrong for the Vols during Saturday’s game, what the Bulldogs’ defense did that caused problems for Tennessee and what his team needs to do to bounce back from its first loss of the season.
Here’s everything Heupel said during Saturday’s postgame press conference.