KNOXVILLE, TENN. – Joshua Dobbs threw for a career-high 312 yards, ran for 118 more and accounted for five touchdowns Saturday as Tennessee erased a 21-point deficit in a 38-31 victory over No. 19 Georgia.
The defeat was doubly painful for Georgia (4-2, 1-2 SEC), which lost star running back Nick Chubb to an injured left knee on the first offensive play. Coach Mark Richt was unsure after the game about the severity of Chubb's injury but the running back looked to be in a lot of pain when being treated by trainers.
"As of right now we're still pretty hopeful that it won't require surgery, but we're not 100 percent sure of that," Richt said.
The Volunteers also have experienced the other side of comebacks. They had dropped three of four, blowing two-touchdown leads in each of their losses.
"They had a different look," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. "This football team was not going to be denied. They were going to find a way to win the football game. I'm just happy for them because they deserve to have this feeling."
Georgia's Reggie Davis scored on a 70-yard punt return and 48-yard catch but dropped a potential game-tying 56-yard touchdown pass with less than four minutes left. The Bulldogs drove from their own to Tennessee's 27 in their final possession, but Brian Randolph broke up Greyson Lambert's pass to Malcolm Mitchell in the end zone as time expired.
Dobbs was 25-for-42 with three touchdown passes for Tennessee (3-3, 1-2). He ran for two more, including a 5-yarder that broke a 31-31 tie with 5:48 left. Dobbs is the only Tennessee player ever to throw for 300 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game.
"We know football is a crazy game," Dobbs said. "Anything can happen, and we had that mind-set all day. ... We kept fighting."
Tennessee trailed 24-3 late in the first half before rallying to beat a ranked team for just the second time in its last 30 tries. The Volunteers also ended a five-game losing streak in their annual series.