KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Top-ranked Georgia made a little bit of Southeastern Conference history in beating Tennessee.
Carson Beck threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 38-10 win over the 21st-ranked Volunteers on Saturday.
With the win, Georgia became the first team to go unbeaten in the SEC three years in a row since the league went to an eight-game schedule in 1992. Georgia also has tied Alabama (twice) for the longest winning streak in SEC history at 28 games.
“What (Georgia has) done in the past couple years is special,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said. “Today was not our best football.”
Dillon Bell caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown, and also threw an 18-yard TD pass to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint for the Bulldogs (10-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference).
“(Bell’s) a great competitor,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “When his number is called, he’s ready. He made plays on back-shoulder 50-50 balls.”
Bell boasted — just a bit — about his ability.
“I feel like I got a pretty decent arm,” Bell said. “I feel like I can throw the ball a little bit.”
Rosemy-Jacksaint caught seven passes for 91 yards and two TDs for the Bulldogs.
Jaylen Wright broke through the middle of the line and went 75 yards for a touchdown on the Volunteers’ (7-4, 3-4) first snap of the game. He finished with 90 yards rushing.
“I knew that was going to be the first call,” Wright said. “(Georgia was) really good up front. We needed to do a better job sustaining blocks (the rest of the game).”
Georgia was impressive on third down, converting on 9 of 13 tries, Meanwhile, Tennessee struggled, going 2 for 11.
“Third downs have been the difference for us … this year,” Smart said. “We cannot continue to lose first downs and play third-and-longs, but we overcame a lot of those.”
“Early in the game, third downs were a big part of it,” said Heupel. “They were able to convert and we couldn’t.”
Beck said the most important part of third-down success is preparation.
“We watch so much film and our Wednesday practices are geared toward red zone and third down,” Beck said. “A lot of that was the passing game — one-on-one situations. They made plays in man-to-man situations.”
Beck was efficient in the first half. He completed 17 of 20 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Bulldogs to a 24-10 lead.
Tennessee gained 75 rushing yards on the first snap and had 37 the rest of the half.
FACTS & FIGURES
When Wright went 75 yards for a touchdown on the team’s first snap, Tennessee made it six straight games when Georgia opponents have scored on their opening drive. … Tennessee royalty made an appearance after the first quarter — icon Dolly Parton was escorted onto the field by Vols legend Peyton Manning. She sang “Rocky Top” with the band as the players from both teams looked on. … Georgia RG Tate Ratledge sustained an apparent knee injury in the second quarter.
Georgia: Taking the momentum from Saturday’s win into the regular-season finale should set the Bulldogs up for their SEC Championship Game battle with Alabama.
Tennessee: This marks the second straight year the Vols have limped through the end of the season. Last year, it was a stunning upset loss to South Carolina that ended their dreams of a berth in the College Football Playoffs. This year, back-to-back losses to Missouri and Georgia have relegated Tennessee to consideration for a lower-tier bowl game.
Georgia: The Bulldogs have maintained their stranglehold on the top spot in the AP poll, as well as the CFP poll.
Tennessee: After having been listed among the Top 25 all season, a fourth loss will likely knock the Vols out of that poll for the season finale.
Georgia: The Bulldogs will close out the regular season at Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Tennessee: Vanderbilt will pay a visit to Rocky Top on Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll