7. Oct. 10, 2015
No. 19 Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee Volunteers
Final score: Tennessee Vols win 38-31
The year before Tennessee football’s epic 5-0 start, this was the game that seemed to be the turning point for the Vols under Butch Jones. And it lasted all the way until the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2016 turned the direction the other way.
Anyway, after a top 25 start, the Vols were 2-3 after blowing three leads of 13 or more points, two of which were in the second half. So criticism of Jones was starting to rise, and Mark Richt’s Georgia Bulldogs came to town.
Thanks to a goal line fumble and a punt return, UGA built a 24-3 lead on the Vols in the way they traditionally beat UT. At this point, it was clear the Vols would hit 2-4, and with the Alabama Crimson Tide up next, they were going to be 2-5. So they were in trouble. But that’s when Joshua Dobbs the star came to life.
Dobbs hit Josh Smith on a 4th and 7 for a touchdown to cut the score to 24-10. Then UGA fumbled on the kickoff, which set up another Dobbs touchdown run, this time on a pass to Alvin Kamara. All of a sudden, this team was shockingly only down 24-17 at halftime. They had blown two close games to the Dawgs in 2013 and 2014, though, and hadn’t won in the series since 2009.
So confidence was still low heading into the second half. But the Vols tied it up on a Dobbs touchdown run, then they took the lead with the same Dobbs to Kamara play from the first half, just on the opposite side. All of a sudden, UT was in the midst of a shocking comeback. UGA tied things up in the fourth quarter, but the Vols scored late on another Dobbs TD run.
Up 38-31, the defense held on two final drives, including the last one coming down to the final second. They scored a huge win after coming back from 24-3 down. It turned around their season, as they would win out to finish 9-4 after a close loss at Alabama.