A forgetful, meaningless play made all the difference in the world Saturday as Tennessee Football fell to the Georgia Bulldogs 38-10. The Vols seemingly had a chance in the game, as they scored a touchdown on their opening play, a 75-yard run by Jaylen Wright, and then managed to hold the Dawgs to a field goal to get the ball back up 7-3.
Milton caught a deflected pass on the next drive to himself and ran it for six yards. That should have been a message that the Vols still aren’t in Georgia’s league talent-wise. However, the next play made it beyond clear. On 3rd and 3, still up 7-3, Milton found Squirrel White on a quick screen.
White had plenty of green to get not just the first down but a big gain. Georgia, though, closed in ridiculously quickly on him and made the tackle, not just short of the first down marker, but for no gain. Tennessee Football was forced to punt on the next play.
After that, UGA reeled off three touchdowns on four drives, and the Vols kept punting. The reason that play was so significant is that it showed the gap in talent. Georgia was able to close in so quickly on one of UT’s best weapons in open space, and they sent a message of their superiority with that play.
The rest of the game, it became more and more obvious that UGA was significantly better than the Vols on both sides of the ball. Sure, injuries didn’t help UT at all, but when Georgia is injured, they are able to insert new players into the game at ease. Rocky Top just doesn’t yet have the talent to do that.
As a result, that one play was the turning point in the game for Tennessee Football, not just because it stopped them on a drive but because it showed who the better team would be the rest of the way. Josh Heupel’s program has a long way to go before it gets on that level.