ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Erik Ainge felt like he had all the time in
the world, which made it easy to dismantle the nation's stingiest
No. 13 Tennessee became just the second team to put up 50 points
on Georgia between the hedges, coming from behind for a stunning
51-33 victory Saturday night that defied the norm in the
defensive-minded Southeastern Conference.
The 10th-ranked Bulldogs had certainly relied on defense while
trying to sort out a muddled quarterback situation. They were
allowing a nation's-best 6.8 points a game -- just 34 all season,
including a pair of shutouts.
Tennessee (5-1, 1-1 SEC) scored more points than that after
halftime, including a 27-point barrage in the final quarter.
"Offensively," coach Phillip Fulmer said, "we are playing on
all cylinders now."
All cylinders, indeed.
Ainge threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Bruising
tailback Arian Foster returned from a sprained ankle to score three
TDs, each of them with a 1-yard run. The Vols wiped out a 17-point
deficit, piled up 383 yards and 27 first downs, going a perfect
6-for-6 scoring TDs each time they drove inside Georgia's 20.
Ainge gave all the credit to his offensive line, which prevented
Georgia's feared defensive ends, Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson,
from getting close to the quarterback.
"I can't say enough about the offensive line," Ainge said. "I
can't say that I ever felt the pressure. Football is easy when you
have that much time."
The SEC had three Top 10 teams lose on the day. Georgia (5-1,
2-1) went down to the same fate as No. 2 Auburn, knocked off by
Arkansas 27-10, and No. 9 LSU, which lost 23-10 to fifth-ranked
"In the big picture, this is not as bad as it feels," Thomas
Brown said. "Everyone is down and devastated right now, but
there's still a lot of football to play. In the SEC, you never know
what might happen. We still have a chance to end up in the SEC
Tennessee put up the second-most points ever by a visiting team
at Sanford Stadium. Only Florida, which won 52-17 in 1995 during
the height of Steve Spurrier's Fun-n-Gun offense, scored more
points on the Bulldogs in Athens.
Ainge was sacked only once -- by safety Tra Battle on a blitz.
Otherwise, Ainge had plenty of time to throw, and he sure took
advantage of it.
"They were blocking 4, 5, even 6 seconds a couple of times,"
Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "(Ainge) was able to go through his
progression and start over again. We didn't pressure at all like we
The Vols would have been feeling the pressure with another
conference loss, after falling to Florida in their SEC opener three
weeks ago. They sure looked in trouble when Georgia raced to a 24-7
lead with less than five minutes to go in the first half.
But Ainge put Tennessee ahead to stay in the opening minute of
the fourth quarter, hooking up with Meachem on a 15-yard touchdown
pass that made it 31-27. After Georgia was stuffed on its next
possession, freshman Antonio Wardlow blocked Gordon Ely-Kelso's
punt and fell on the ball in the corner of the end zone for another
"After I blocked the ball, I saw it rolling toward the
sideline," Wardlow said. "Somehow, it stayed in."
The crowd of more than 92,000 was still recovering when Brown
found a seam up the middle and broke off a 99-yard return for a
touchdown -- Georgia's second return for a TD in the game.
Mikey Henderson had an 86-yard punt return early in the second
quarter, his second touchdown on a punt return this season.
It wasn't nearly enough to save Georgia. Foster scored on a
1-yard run with 8:15 remaining and did it again with 2:54 left to
make it half a hundred.
Joe Tereshinski started at quarterback for Georgia, his first
appearance since going down with a severely sprained ankle in the
While Tereshinski gave a bit of life to an offense that
struggled in his absence with freshmen Matthew Stafford and Joe Cox
flip-flopping the quarterback duties, it wasn't nearly enough to
overcome the Tennessee onslaught.
Tereshinski threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the
Georgia was cruising when Brannan Southerland scored the second
of his two touchdowns with a leaping catch of an 8-yard pass from
But Ainge responded by directing an 11-play, 65-yard that ended
with Foster diving over from the 1 with just 50 seconds left in the
half to make it 24-14.
Tennessee carried that momentum into the third quarter. On
Georgia's second offensive play, Antwan Stewart picked off a tipped
pass at the Bulldogs 19 to set up a 1-yard touchdown dive by Ainge.
"Any time you can come to a place like Georgia and win -- and
win in that fashion -- you have a chance to build some momentum,"
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