ATHENS, Ga. (WATE) – For 59-minutes and 50-seconds it looked like it was the same story, different day for No. 11 Tennessee on Saturday and then the impossible happened.
Receiver Jauan Jennings found the end of a Josh Dobbs 43-yard hail marry touchdown pass to win the game in walk off fashion. The No. 11 Vols overcame a 17-point deficit to rally past No. 25 Georgia 34-31 at Sanford Stadium.
The win moves Tennessee to 5-0, the first time the program has owned that record since 1998. Michel put Georgia on the board first, running in from 14 yards out. The touchdown wrapped up a 10-play drive.
After Alvin Kamara fumbled on the Vols ensuing drive, the Bulldogs drove 37 yards in 11 plays to make it a two-possession game with a 27-yard field goal off the foot of Rodrigo Blankenship.
Kamara’s turnover marked the 13th time Tennessee fumbled this season but just the second that was recovered by its opponents.
With Georgia leading 10-0, the Vols were inches away from answering. Dobbs’ strike to Jalen Hurd went from being six points to a Bulldogs touchback after the Vols running back fumbled the pass into the end zone after taking a big hit at the goal line.
Georgia converted the turnover into another score, with Michel scoring his second rushing touchdown of the day, this time from 2 yards out. The Bulldogs took a 17-0 lead.
With 12 seconds left before halftime, Dobbs would find the end zone on a 4-yard run to cut Georgia’s lead to 10 heading into the third quarter.
Tennessee began the second half with a 10-play drive capped off with a 17-yard pass from Dobbs to Hurd to make it 17-14 with 10:31 left to play in the quarter.
The Bulldogs would respond in big fashion. Jacob Eason connected with TE Isaac Nauta for a 50-yard touchdown that put Georgia back up by 10 with 4:07 left to play in the third.
Looking to make another comeback, Tennessee scored on the first play of the fourth quarter. Dobbs found Alvin Kamara for a 16-yard score, putting the game at 24-21 Georgia with 14:53 left to play.
The Bulldogs would end a 10-play drive with a turnover on downs as Eason’s pass fell incomplete on 4th and 2 and the Vols 25-yard line.
With under nine minutes left in the game, Dobbs would give it right back. The Vols quarterback threw his first interception of the game to Maurice Smith at Tennessee’s 42-yard line. But the Bulldogs were not able to capitalize on the Vols’ third turnover of the game.
After the Vols opted to punt on 4th and 5, it paid off. Pinned deep in their own territory, Eason fumbled in the end zone and Corey Vereen recovered the ball to give the Vols a 28-24 advantage.
All looked lost for the Vols when Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason threw a 47-yard touchdown to take a 31-28 lead with 10 seconds left in the game.
Tennessee never gave up hope however with Joshua Dobbs throwing a 43-yard hail marry touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings to win the game!
The outcome even left coach Butch Jones uncharacteristically emotional.