2. Georgia’s defense won every one-on-one matchup.
Give credit where credit is due. Part of the reason Georgia won is they were just better at certain positions. It started at receiver. Tennessee football’s wideouts could never get separation. On Hendon Hooker’s one interception of the game, Kelee Ringo stayed with Cedric Tillman all the way down the sideline.
Ringo allowed Tillman to catch lots of passes underneath, which is why he finished with seven catches for 68 yards, leading the Vols in receiving. However, Tillman nor Bru McCoy could get past the cornerbacks deep, which is something not many of us saw coming in this game.
On the defensive line, beyond the blitz packages, the interior offensive line got destroyed by Jalen Carter. Despite being hurt for lots of the year, Carter came in and dominated. He had the strip sack and two tackles for a loss and was a forced to be reckoned with throughout the night, helping to spur Georgia’s successful blitzes.
Then there was the tackling. Often times, the Vols had the right call on, as it was a typical running play where the defense was caught off-guard. However, rather than gain 10 to 15 yards, Georgia’s defense would always close and wrap up, just as they would on the receivers. Credit where credit is due, they were just that good.