No. 1 Georgia throttles No. 18 Tennessee to move to 11-0

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 18: Brock Bowers #19 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates a touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers in the second quarter at Neyland Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

No. 18 Tennessee scored a touchdown on its first offensive play of the game against No. 1 Georgia on Saturday. And it was complete domination by the Bulldogs from that point onward.

The Bulldogs outscored Tennessee 38-3 on the way to a 38-10 victory after Jaylen Wright ran 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening play. Georgia had the lead before the first quarter was over and scored 24 straight points before the Volunteers got a field goal to end the first half.

Georgia (11-0, 8-0 SEC) was powered by another fantastic performance from QB Carson Beck. He was 24-of-30 passing for 298 yards and threw three touchdowns. Beck has emerged as a star in recent weeks as Georgia has showed how good it is since the calendar flipped to October.

Beck is completing over 70% of his passes in 2023 and has thrown 21 TDs to just five interceptions. He hasn’t had a multi-interception game all season.

All-purpose player Dillon Bell also threw for a TD and caught another. Bell finished the game with five catches for 90 yards and has also been a credible rushing threat out of the backfield for the Bulldogs. After being a part of Georgia’s first two scores of the game, Bell had a chance to join a rare club with a passing TD, receiving TD and rushing TD in the same game. But he had just one carry for 4 yards.

The Bulldogs moved to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings earlier in the week thanks to a massive win over Ole Miss. That game showed why the two-time defending national champions are the favorites to be the first team to win three straight titles in nearly 100 years.

Saturday’s domination of the Volunteers did nothing to make you think Georgia won’t be playing for the national title again in January. It was the 28th consecutive win for the Bulldogs, tying the most consecutive wins by an SEC team ever. And Georgia also became the first SEC team to go 8-0 in conference play in three consecutive seasons. The Bulldogs' last conference loss came Nov. 7, 2020 against Florida.

Tennessee struggles again

Georgia’s win was the second straight big loss for Tennessee. The Volunteers (7-4, 3-4) were blown out 36-7 at Missouri a week ago and gave their fans brief hope for a major bounce back Saturday.

Instead, the offense failed to muster anything of substance for a second straight week. Joe Milton was just 17-of-30 passing for 147 yards and the Vols rushed for just 56 yards on 24 carries outside of Wright’s TD run.

It’s a disappointing end to the season for a UT team that had hopes of challenging the Bulldogs for the top spot in the SEC East in 2023. Instead, the offense has failed to find the heights it did in 2022 with Milton at the helm and the defense has allowed at least 34 points to each of the last three ranked teams it has faced.