Georgia Football: Grading Georgia performance against Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 18: Dillon Bell #86 of the Georgia Bulldogs scores a touchdown during a game between the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 18: Dillon Bell #86 of the Georgia Bulldogs scores a touchdown during a game between the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Georgia football remains undefeated after crushing the Vols 38-10. It is Monday, and we all know what that means: report cards! I cannot believe that we are already at Thanksgiving week. It is nuts how fast this season has flown by. Although short, the South Carolina game feels like a distant memory. I guess it’s because the team we all pull for is so good that the season ends feels like it ends quickly. Could you imagine what it is like to be an Auburn fan today? I would hate that feeling.

Anyway, let’s get into the report cards. Remember, the grading scale is based on the Fulton County Schools Systems grading scale. There are no Ds, only Fs. No team or player is left behind here at the Max Tolbert Football Academy. F’s will be hard to come by this week, so I don’t think I will be handing those out today.

Offense: A

This offense is one of the better ones I can remember Georgia having. They can hurt you in different ways. On Saturday, on Rocky Top, Carson Beck hurt the Vols with his arm. Carson Beck has the best arm a Georgia quarterback has had since Matthew Stafford. Beck threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns.

Furthermore, it was Beck’s accuracy that impressed me. He was 24 of 30 on passing attempts and had an 80% passing completion percentage. The windows that Beck threw the ball into were the most impressive thing. This guy has an NFL arm, and if he would like to stay for another year, Beck could be the first overall pick in the 2025 NFL Draft.

Georgia did struggle a bit in the running game. But, upon re-watching the game, Tennessee’s defense was stacking the box almost every play. Mizzou and Auburn had decent success doing that against the Dawgs. But they both had better defensive backs than Tennessee has. So give a massive shout-out to our guy Willie Martinez, the Vols defensive back coach and former Georgia defensive coordinator.

The Dawgs had some difficulty running the ball, but it was effective. Kendall Milton was the Dawgs’ leading rusher with 66 yards on 14 carries.  Overall, the Dawgs ran for 156 yards on 40 carries, averaging just under 4 yards a carry.

The Dawgs gained 472 offensive yards. They continue to put up impressive offensive numbers. Furthermore, this Saturday’s performance for the offense gets an A because they were 5 for 5 in the red zone. There have been times when this offense has struggled inside the red zone. But that has not been an issue for the Dawgs in the last two weeks. Hopefully, that trend continues for the rest of the season.

Defense: A- 

I do not understand what is happening with the Dawgs defense and giving up touchdowns on the first drive. I wonder if our defense is trying to feel the opposing offense out or if they are so amped up they forget what they are doing.

It has gotten to the point where if Georgia’s defense does not give up an opening drive touchdown, I would feel like the Dawgs will lose the game. Furthermore, it has gotten to the point where Kirby Smart is making jokes about it.

"“I talked to [Glenn] Schumann before the game and said we were going to let them score first,” Smart said. “We have consistently found a way to let teams score first and not have great first drives. They got aggressive there, and we didn’t have a guy in the gap. Our secondary has to find a way to bring him down, and traditionally, Georgia doesn’t give up big plays.”"

Jokes aside, Kirby did not seem happy about giving up that big play on the game’s first drive. Outside of that one drive, that is all Tennessee could do. The Vols only gained 200 yards the rest of the game. The Dawgs shut down the run and forced Joe Milton to throw the ball for the Vols even to have a chance.

Georgia’s defense has improved throughout the season, and they are peaking at the right time. Hopefully, that trend continues as the more significant test awaits in Alabama and Jalen Milroe. The Dawgs shut down an offense averaging close to 40 points a game. Georgia’s defensive backfield is one of the best in the country. I do not think a better one exists in college football.

Furthermore, the Dawgs’ linebacking core has done better than expected without veteran leader Jamon Dumas-Johnson. Overall, the defense played well.

Special Teams: A

Brett Throson only punted twice and still has not given up a single yard in returns this season. Tennessee has a pretty dangerous returner, and he could not get a yard against the Dawgs, which is unbelievable.  I do not know how long that will last, but it is crazy that it has survived 11 games. Peyton Woodring continues to be money. For him to make that field goal early in the game killed any further momentum the Vols could have gotten in from a missed field goal. Also, Woodring continues to be perfect on PATs this season. Overall, it was a good day for the special teams unit.

Overall: A+ 

Look, it is always a good day when you go on the road, play in a hostile environment, and do what Georgia did. The Dawgs dominated the game early in the first quarter, suffocating the Vols into submission. At one point, Josh Hepul chose to kick a 55-yard field goal just to make the score look better. How embarrassing is that? Georgia is peaking at the right time and looks like the best team in the country.

Dillon Bell was the game’s MVP. He had five receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown. Bell made some incredible catches but also threw an 18-yard touchdown that put the Dawgs up in the first quarter. This is the second time Bell has received the game’s MVP award from Dawn of the Dawg this season. The first coming against South Carolina. Bell kept waiting for his opportunity this season, got it Saturday, and showed he is a capable replacement for Ladd McConkey next season.

Trending. Dawgs embarrass Vols on Rocky Top 38-10. light