KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Isaiah Crowell gave Georgia the boost it needed to overcome a low-scoring first half and earn coach Mark Richt his 100th victory as the Bulldogs defeated Tennessee 20-12 on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.
The teams went to halftime tied at 6, and Crowell, who rushed for 14 yards on seven carries in the first half, carried the ball for 38 yards and scored a touchdown on consecutive Georgia possessions in the third quarter to put the Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) ahead of Tennessee (3-2, 0-2) at 20-6 when the period ended.
After being limited in the first half by an arm injury, Crowell took over in the third quarter.
A Tennessee punt from the the end zone allowed Georgia to begin its first drive of the quarter at the Volunteers’ 38. Crowell then rushed for 12 yards, and after a 10-yard Aaron Murray pass to Orson Charles and some help from a pass-interference call, finished off the drive with three consecutive 1-yard runs, including a touchdown carry up the middle.
Tennessee failed to reach midfield on its next possession, and Georgia made quick work of moving back the other way with a 71-yard Murray pass to Malcolm Mitchell, who left the game with an injured hamstring after the play. Murray rushed five yards to the Tennessee 17, and Crowell carried in the touchdown on the next play.
Crowell finished with 58 yards on 19 carries and caught two passes for 5 yards.
Tennessee put some pressure on Georgia late in the game when quarterback Tyler Bray carried in a 1-yard touchdown with 2:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. But Georgia left itself with a small advantage when strong safety Shawn Williams blocked Michael Palardy’s point-after attempt to leave the Bulldogs with a 20-12 lead.
Bray’s score was the second touchdown allowed by the Georgia defense in the previous four game, and Georgia held Tennessee to 270 total yards of offense with 290 passing yards and minus-20 rushing yards.