Vols Roar Back, Take Bite Out of 'Dawgs

October 7, 2006

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Erik Ainge and Tennessee shredded the nation's stingiest defense, becoming just the second team to put up 50 points on Georgia between the hedges.

Ainge threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the No. 13 Volunteers to a wild 51-33 victory Saturday night that defied the norm in the defensive-minded Southeastern Conference, which had three Top 10 teams lose on the day.

Arian Foster scored three times for Tennessee (5-1, 1-1 SEC), all on 1-yard runs. The Vols piled up 383 yards and 27 first downs, going a perfect 6-for-6 scoring TDs each time they got inside Georgia's 20.

The 10th-ranked Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC) went down to the same fate as No. 2 Auburn, knocked off by Arkansas 27-10, and No. 9 LSU, which lost 23-10 to fifth-ranked Florida. The Bulldogs hardly looked like a team that was allowing a nation's-best 6.8 points per game -- only 34 all season.

Tennessee scored more points than that in the second half, finishing with the second-most ever by a visiting team at Sanford Stadium. Only Florida, which won 52-17 in 1995 during the height of Steve Spurrier's Fun-n-Gun offense, scored more points on the Bulldogs in Athens.

The Vols couldn't afford another conference loss after falling to Florida in their SEC opener three weeks ago. They sure looked in trouble when Georgia raced to a 24-7 lead with less than five minutes to go in the first half.

But Ainge put Tennessee ahead to stay in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, hooking up with Robert Meachem on a 15-yard touchdown pass that made it 31-27. After Georgia was stuffed on its next possession, freshman Antonio Wardlow blocked Gordon Ely-Kelso's punt and fell on the ball in the corner of the end zone for another TD.

The crowd of more than 92,000 was still recovering from that blow when Thomas Brown found a seam up the middle and broke off a 99-yard return for a touchdown -- Georgia's second return for a TD in the game.

Mikey Henderson had an 86-yard punt return early in the second quarter, his second touchdown on a punt return this season.

It wasn't nearly enough to save Georgia. Foster scored on a 1-yard run with 8:15 remaining and did it again with 2:54 left to make it half a hundred.


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