Recap: Tennessee at Georgia
Tennessee Stat Book
In the aftermath of Tennessee's failed comeback attempt at No. 5 Georgia on Saturday, Vols quarterback Tyler Bray was left answering for three turnovers in UT's final three possessions.
Trailing by a touchdown at Sanford Stadium, Bray said the Vols offense "just kind of fell apart," and admitted that he was trying to do too much.
"I told Tyler, I'm sure everyone is going to comment about him not winning the game, and that's not fair to him because he's on a long journey as a quarterback," UT coach Derek Dooley said Saturday. "He hasn't been in those situations a lot, he just hasn't, in his career here. He's going to learn from it and next time he's in it he's going to execute better."
Next time might come in two weeks when Tennessee (3-2, 0-2 SEC) travels to No. 20 Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0).
Until then, the Vols' inability to finish upset bids against Georgia and Florida will be dissected.
Bray's fourth-quarter numbers in 2012 will be the nucleus of the conversation.
The junior has completed 18-of-38 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in five fourth-quarter performances in 2012. His 106.2 quarterback rating is significantly lower than in the first quarter (150.4), second quarter (166.9) and third quarter (151.8).
"He's played a lot, but hasn't been in those types of end-of-the-game situations enough," Dooley reiterated.
In the first half of games over his UT career, Bray has completed 218-of-355 (61.4 percent) passes for 3,671 yards, 35 touchdowns, eight interceptions and taken eight sacks.
In the second half of games, he's 172-for-309 (55.7) for 2,098 yards, 14 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and 21 sacks.
*The Vols made history on Saturday.
Not that they wanted to, though.
The 51-44 loss to Georgia marked the first time in program history that UT fell when scoring over 40 points. A 177-game streak was snapped.
*Despite the loss, UT scored well on the Richt-er scale. In his postgame press conference, Georgia coach Mark Richt said, "I think Derek (Dooley) has got them going in the right direction. They're going to be a pain in the rear for some time to come."
*Against Georgia, UT linebacker A.J. Johnson scored his third touchdown this season out of the Wildcat package while running backs Marlin Lane and Devrin Young have yet to score a rushing touchdown.
Who saw that coming?
*Mississippi State climbed one spot in the AP poll Sunday to No. 20 despite enjoying a bye week. The Bulldogs' victories in 2012 have come over Jackson State, Auburn, Troy and South Alabama. The four are a combined 5-14.
The Bulldogs will face Kentucky (1-4, 0-2) in Lexington on Saturday.
*UT owns six straight wins over MSU, tied for the Vols' longest active streak over an SEC foe (UT has also beaten Vanderbilt six straight times). The Bulldogs' last win came in 1994.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn