ATHENS, Ga. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Vols have been a second half team all year, and now they could be called a team of destiny after a late Hail Mary from Josh Dobbs to Juan Jennings toppled the Georgia Bulldogs 34-31.
It was a wild second half in Athens, Georgia, Saturday afternoon as Tennessee trailed 17-0 before Josh Dobbs scored the Vols first points with under 20 seconds to go in the first half.
Tennessee came out in the second half ready to go like they’ve done the past few weeks as Dobbs hit Jalen Hurd for a 19-yard touchdown to cut the Georgia lead to just 3.
The Vols continued to play catch up. After a Georgia touchdown, they trailed by 10 until Dobbs found Alvin Kamara for a 16-yard touchdown to make it a 3-point game in the fourth quarter.
The score remained close until the final 3 minutes of the game when Derek Barnett sacked Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason in the end zone, forcing a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Corey Vereen. That then put Tennessee in front 28-24.
The Vols were in control but Georgia was not done. With under 20 seconds to go, Eason unleashed a 47-yard touchdown to Riley Ridley, and Georgia went back on top 31-28 with 10 seconds to play.
All year the Vols have found ways to win close games and it was no different this time. Dobbs took the final snap of the game with 4 seconds on the clock and threw a 43-yard Hail Mary that was caught by Jauan Jennings for a 34-31 Tennessee win.
Dobbs finished the game 16/26 for 230 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Jauan Jennings led all receivers with 3 catches for 71 yards, including the game winning catch to send the Vols to 5-0, their best start since 1998.
“The calmness of our sideline when you go back and you think about it was surreal, ” said Vols head Ccach Butch Jones. “There was no panic, nobody was down and I looked the kids in the eye and I said, ‘We’re gonna find a way to make a play…. I 100 percent firmly believe that we were gonna catch the football and we were gonna score and that’s the belief I have in this football team and these kids. I saw the ball, tight spiral, good lift and I thought we had a chance and it’s one of those moments in time you’ll remember forever.”
Tennessee will look for a 6-0 record on the road next weekend against No. 9 Texas A&M.