Josh Dobbs did something Saturday against No. 19 Georgia that hasn’t been done at Tennessee since the last time Josh Dobbs did it.
The junior quarterback passed for a career-high 312 yards and ran for 118 more, adding to his legacy as the only Vol QB throw for more than 300 yards and rush for more than 100 yards in a game for the second time in his career after being the first to ever do it last season against South Carolina.
It was really the perfect game to sum up Dobb’s career so far at Tennessee.
He missed some throws, sometimes badly, and tossed an interception. But when it came time to get the dirty yards up the middle with his legs or complete a pass in a clutch situation, the team captain simply declined to be denied.
"Josh willed our offense to score points,” Butch Jones said. “We had a lot of individuals will this football team to win. He made the throws when he had to, make the plays with the legs, got us in the right places at the line of scrimmage, but our whole football team was poised, calm and collective the entire night. There was no flinching.”
Dobbs didn’t have the luxury of flinching. The Alpharetta, Georgia, native was called to pick up some hard-earned yards with his legs up the middle on designed quarterback runs and converted in big time moments to inch his team back into the game.
On fourth-and-eight from Georgia’s 39 yard line, Dobbs threw a bullet to wide receiver Josh Smith, who snagged it and raced for a touchdown to breathe life into Tennessee. He then connected with Alvin Kamara on the first of Kamara’s two 2-yard touchdown catches just minutes later to whittle Georgia’s once-huge lead down to just one score heading into the break.
“It’s awesome having that trust of my teammates,” Dobbs said. “I trust these guys with everything on and off the field. I love my teammates. I’ll do anything for them. I tell them that all the time. We did a great job of having each other’s back – offense, defense, and special teams.”?
The “CEO” of Tennessee’s football program combined for 430 yards and five scores as he pushed his team to a gutsy 21-point comeback win — tied for the third-largest margin of deficit overcome by the Vols in school history.
And it was led unequivocally by Dobbs, who used the middle of the field when he had to, ate up yards on the ground and served as the identity of Tennessee’s offense. When the Peach State native is grinding out yards with his legs to complement short and intermediate throws, the Vols truly click on all cylinders and play their best football.
“(Him running) is a big part (of our game), and Dobbs is our quarterback, and for him to run the ball like he did tonight and like he always has, it’s a huge part of our offense,” running back Jalen Hurd said. “It goes through him.”
Like the vein that carries blood to the heart, Tennessee’s offense goes through Josh Dobbs. And when he’s able to get comfortable and grind it out on the ground, there’s no telling how fast it can beat.