Georgia football has had the gas pedal down from the moment the game started until halftime. Both sides of the ball have sent a message, and while there is a lot of game left to play, this opening half showed that the Dawgs are not playing around when it comes to Tennessee.
Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett has been a magician. The offensive line has done a great job at getting the push up front, and that defense has been almost perfect. Kelee Ringo’s pick toward the middle of the second quarter was so crucial because the Vols were gaining a little momentum.
Not to mention, this Georgia crowd has been absolutely nuts and so loud. At one point in this half, they hit 127 decibels, which is insane. Head coach Kirby Smart challenged the fans, and in the first half, they answered the call.
The Dawgs will need to keep this going in the second half, but right now, that first half was what Georgia needed to do. They sent a message, and Tennessee got it loud and clear.
Georgia football sent a message to the country in the first half against Tennessee
It all started with that first touchdown for the Dawgs. Bennett took off and scored on a 13-yard run to answer a Tennessee field goal. He avoided a sack and did his job. However, it was his call signal celebration that made it that much better. After someone leaked his phone number earlier this week, that was his response — it was incredible.
Then came the best punt we’ve ever seen in a game. Brett Thorson booted it 75 yards to put it on the one-yard line and pin the Vols deep in their territory.
After Thorson pinned the Vols deep, that defense did its job. Jalen Carter looked like a monster coming through the line. He stripped the ball and caused so much havoc. Everyone thought it was a safety, but the refs disagreed. Regardless, Georgia forced another punt, and everyone saw Carter make Tennessee’s offensive line look silly.
On the first play of the next drive, Bennett threw a perfect pass to Ladd McConkey for a 37-yard touchdown. Georgia didn’t care if they got the safety points or not because a touchdown is much sweeter. This play was the Dawgs’ fourth explosive play of the half, and Georgia would finish the opening half with seven explosive plays.
Georgia led 14-3 at that moment, and the explosiveness wouldn’t stop there. Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint caught a tip-toe touchdown in the back of the endzone for the Dawgs to lay another dagger into Tennessee’s defense.
After a few mishaps that included two penalties on third down for the Vols to kick another field goal and get a stop on defense, Georgia responded with another big moment. Ringo picked off Hendon Hooker and gave the Dawgs the ball and command of the clock.
Georgia responded by milking the clock and kicking a field goal to end the half and lead 24-6 after two quarters. The Dawgs punched Tennessee in the mouth and proved they could handle the Vols.
This second half of the game should be explosive and memorable. There is still a lot of time left, but what a way to be explosive and stun the Vols. No one gave Georgia a shot, but the Dawgs said not today Tennessee.