Georgia football started a bit sluggish against Tennessee, but once James Cook hit that 39-yard touchdown run, the Dawgs settled down and refocused to lead the Vols 24-10 at the half.
Between him and Stetson Bennett, the Dawgs wouldn’t have 24 points because they were the two guys who kept drives alive and made plays when they needed to.
Cook is emerging as the Dawgs go-to back with his excellent vision as the senior running back finished the first half with six carries for 78 yards and one score on the ground.
He wasn’t done after that 39-yard score as Cook helped close the half out by catching a 23-yard touchdown catch to give him two catches for 35 yards and put Georgia up by 14 points.
Tennessee figured out how to stop Zamir White, but Cook is such a weapon catching the ball and running with it. While he and White are equally talented, Cook sees the holes better and patiently lets them develop.
Between Cook’s and Bennett’s vision, Georgia could be trailing this game. Credit to the defense, too, because they forced a turnover and rattled Hendon Hooker a bit.
Georgia was able to put points up after the turnover, which gave them even more momentum, but Cook’s ability to move the chains gave them even more confidence.
The Dawgs need to keep feeding the senior through the air and on the ground because he looks like a possessed man ready for a breakout game.
Todd Monken needs to let Cook run the ball. Zamir White got it done against Flordia, and now it’s time for Cook to do it against Tennessee. Whoever runs the ball better this week will win, and so far, the Dawgs have 18 carries for 121 yards on the ground.
Bennett has five carries for 32 yards, but most of his runs resulted in first downs because he got pressured by Tennessee’s defense.
The Dawgs average 6.7 yards a rush, and Georgia’s defense held them to 65 rushing yards on 18 carries, which means they average 3.6 yards a touch.
Cook’s vision makes him so unique and a real threat to the Vols defense. They don’t have an answer for him right now, so the Dawgs better make a note of that.
This game could be where we see him emerge as the lead back who can get the job done the rest of the way. Georgia will, of course, continue to use multiple backs, but right now, Cook has the hot hand, and they need to keep feeding it.
Tennessee came ready and punched the Dawgs in the mouth a few times, but the longer the first half progressed, the better Georgia got.
Georgia gets the ball to start the second half, and they need to march it down the field and put more points up because Tennessee will come out mad they gave up those points at the end of the half.