ATHENS, Ga. (WATE) — No. 1 Tennessee dropped its first game of the year 27-13  as the offense sputtered against No. 3 Georgia.

The Vols entered the game averaging 598 yards per game, but the Bulldogs defense held them to just  289 yards on Saturday.

The Georgia defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage sacking Hendon Hooker 6 times.
Hooker finished the game with a pedestrian stat line, 23/33 for 195 yards with no touchdowns and 1 interception.

Tennessee’s defense came up big on the first drive of the game when Tamarion McDonald recovered a Georgia fumble leading to a Chase McGrath 47-yard field goal to give the Vols a 3-0 lead. 

Georgia responded with a 5-play 80-yard drive capped by a Stetson Bennett 13-yard touchdown run to the corner of the end zone, giving the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead with 8:32 remaining in the first quarter.

Special teams played a big role for the Bulldogs in the first quarter, Brett Thorson boomed a 75-yard punt that was downed at the one-yard line. After holding Tennessee to a 3 and out, Bennett hit Ladd McConkey on the first play of the next drive for a 37-yard touchdown strike to give Georgia a 14-3 lead. 

Georgia extended the lead to 21-3 on the 2nd play of the 2nd quarter when Bennett hit Marcus R.-Jacksaint in the back of the end zone from 3-yards out.

Tennessee was held without a touchdown in the first half of a game for the first time in the Josh Heupel era.

The sellout crowd at Sanford stadium played a significant role in the game, making it tough for the Vols to communicate at the line of scrimmage. Tennessee finished the game with 7 false starts and 9 pre-snap penalties altogether.

The Bulldogs led 24-6 at the half. 

Georgia added a field goal in the 3rd quarter on a 15-play 67-yard drive taking up 8:44 to lead 27-6 after 3 quarters of play.

Tennessee tacked on a touchdown in the 4th quarter, after Hooker hit Jalin Hyatt for a big gain on 4th down, Jaylen Wright punched it in from two yards out to pull Tennessee within 14 at 27-13 with 4:15 to play in the game. 

EDITORS NOTE: This story has been updated with new information.