Dawgs' defense wants to be number one

ATHENS — If not for a hurried call by an SEC officiating crew and one key turnover, Georgia's defense could lead the country in points allowed this week.

The No. 5 Bulldogs looked like they were on their way to a shutout of Tennessee last week until Volunteer defensive back Jonathan Wade returned an interception to inside the Bulldogs' 1-yard line to set up a short scoring drive. Tennessee didn't get into the end zone again until Robert Meachem scored on a 24-yard reception on the final play of the game, and television replays appear to show Meachem didn't cross the goal line.

Without those 14 points, Georgia would have given up just 45 this season and would be tied for No. 1 in the nation with Virginia Tech at nine points per game. As it is, the Bulldogs rank seventh in the country, having allowed 11.8 points per game.

"There's no reason to cry over spilt milk," safety Tra Battle said. "You have to put that behind you."

"Maybe it keeps them hungry," coach Mark Richt said.

Richt called Meachem's score, which came on the game's final play and after the Volunteers had called a timeout with 15 seconds remaining, questionable.

"If the game was closer and it wasn't the last play of the game, it probably would have been reviewed," he said. "Everyone was ready to go home."

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