Quarterback – B+
Aaron Murray turned in another solid performance Saturday against Tennessee. The junior led a methodical drive that covered 13 plays, 84 yards and six minutes of game time. That was the longest drive of the day for Georgia, but Murray sliced Tennessee's secondary time and time again, finishing 19-for-25 for 278 yards and two scores. His only interception was tipped by a Tennessee defensive lineman before being returned for a touchdown, and his fumble inside the Georgia 10-yard line was caused by an unblocked Tennessee blitzer.
Still, the junior showed veteran-like poise when the Bulldogs needed him most. After his fumble led to a toudchdown, Murray went 11-for-11 and completed a 2-point conversion. He threw for 165 yards and two scores during a stretch that spanned from the end of the second quarter to the start of the fourth.
Runningback – A-
Tennessee was the Keith Marshall-Todd Gurley show for three quarters Saturday night (They ran for just 8 yards on 7 carries in the fourth quarter). Marshall sped his way to 167 yards in 10 carries and two scores, showing incredible burst and top-end speed against the Vols. Gurley put in his accustomed 100-yard game, racking up 135 yards in 24 carries and three scores.
There was a pair of mistakes. To open a drive in the second quarter, Gurley misplayed the kick return, leaving Georgia to start from its own one-yard line. To end that drive, Marshall fumbled at the Georgia 18-yard line, and Tennessee scored a quick touchdown. However, the two backs accounted for five of Georgia's seven touchdowns, and
Wide Receiver/Tight End – B+
Michael Bennett caught four passes for 60 yards and two scores in the second half to help the Bulldogs remain undefeated. Tight ends Arthur Lynch (3 catches, 75 yards) and Jay Rome (one catch, 21 yards) had their best game of the season against the Vols. Marlon Brown didn't catch a pass, however. His only touch was an eight-yard run in the first half. Tavarres King had a seven-yard catch, carrying Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson on his back to the one-yard line, setting up a Georgia score. Rantavious Wooten dropped a third down pass in the fourth quarter that cold have gone for a touchdown. If not for a score, the catch would've allowed Georgia to run more time off the clock.
Offensive Line – B+ Georgia's offensive line created space for Gurley and Marshall, and the interior linemen did an admiral job of controlling Tennessee's 6-foot-8, 360-pound nose guard Daniel McCullers. Chris Burnette allowed Herman Lathers to come untouched on Murray's fumble, but Murray had solid pass protection for much of the game. As injuries heal and freshman tackle John Theus continues to learn, this group is becoming a strength for Georgia and a key cog to Georgia's high-powered offense.
Defensive Line – C+
Georgia's much-heralded defensive tackle John Jenkins may be an NFL talent, but his play against Tennessee left much to be desired. The same goes for the rest of Georgia's defensive line. Senior Abry Jones, who was hampered by an ankle injury, was essentially a nonfactor, registering just one tackle and a half a tackle-for-loss. To rest Jones, Kwame Geathers and Jenkins played more simultaneously against Tennessee than any other game thus far, and Geathers outplayed his fellow nose guard. Cornelius Washington disappeared against the Vols, registering just four assisted tackles. Garrison Smith played well in Jones's absence, registering six tackles, but the defensive line got gashed by Tennessee's running game and failed to keep pressure on quarterback Tyler Bray.
Linebacker – B-
Alec Ogletree made sure Georgia fans knew he was back from serving a four game suspension. ‘Tree' racked up 14 tackles and three pass breakups, one of which was intercepted by Damian Swann. Tree nearly intercepted another pass from Bray, and the inside backer was around almost every play. Jarvis Jones, still nursing a groin injury, didn't have the game many expect from him, but he still registered eight tackles and a half tackle-for-loss. Freshman backup linebacker Jordan Jenkins forced Tyler Bray to fumble late, thwarting a Tennessee attempt to tie the ballgame, and Chase Vasser had a big tackle for loss. However, Amarlo Herrera missed his assignment on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Raijon Neal in the second quarter. Georgia's linebackers struggled to slow Tennessee's run production as the Vols rushed for 197 yards, scored three times on the ground and averaged 4.9 yards per carry.
Defensive Back – B-
Georgia's defensive backs saw an up and down game Saturday. Bacarri Rambo totaled nine tackles in his return from suspension, but the ball-hawk went for an all-or-nothing play on a third down pass to Zac Rogers in the first quarter and came up empty. Rogers gained 22 yards on the play and would have scored had he not tripped up. Damian Swann continues to prove himself as the most reliable cornerback on the Georgia roster, tallying six tackles, an interception, a pass breakup and a tackle-for-loss. Branden Smith was simply abused in coverage and struggled to wrap-up the ball carrier. Sanders Commings did not play as well as expected but made up for his poor start by picking off two passes in the fourth quarter to preserve the Georgia victory. Many fans will see that the talented Bray only completed 53 percent of his passes, but the Tennessee signal caller struggled to connect with some open receivers downfield.
Special Teams – C+
Georgia's defense received all the offseason attention, and Georgia's offensive play is off the charts thus far. The special teams, however, may be the most exciting aspect of Georgia football these days—and that's not necessarily a good thing. Against Tennessee, the Bulldogs proved they could block a punt but not field one and kick a long field goal but miss an extra point, or two. Malcolm Mitchell's struggles at punt return continue to neglect the Bulldogs. This time the sophomore playmaker allowed a punt that landed in front of him to bounce 13 yards to the Georgia-1. Marc Deas blocked a Tennessee punt to give Georgia a huge momentum boost in the second half.
Marshall Morgan continues to be erratic on extra points. The freshman bounced one extra point attempt off the upright and had an attempt blocked in the third quarter. Morgan still crushed a 50-yard field goal to tie the game heading into halftime, giving Georgia some momentum at the break.
Todd Gurley also misplayed a kickoff return, giving the Bulldogs possession at their own 1-yard line for the second time over a span of three drives.