Fourth down wasn‚Äôt good for Georgia‚Äôs defense in the fourth quarter against Tennessee on Saturday.
The Volunteers converted all three of their fourth-down chances in the game in the final 15 minutes of regulation in the 34-31 Georgia overtime victory.
‚ÄúBecause our offense is so explosive ‚Äî South Carolina went for it on fourth-and-2 ‚Äî I think we‚Äôre going to see a lot of fourth downs because people feel like they‚Äôve got to keep the ball,‚Äù defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. ‚ÄúWe obviously didn‚Äôt play the one flip play very good, but we‚Äôll learn from it and move on.‚Äù
That flip play on a fourth-and-1 pitch from Justin Worley to Rajion Neal from the Tennessee 34 turned into a 43-yard gain.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs really what boosted their emotions a lot,‚Äù outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said.
Tennessee scored on that drive to tie the game at 24 and then converted two fourth-and-1s on the next drive, getting a 1-yard run from Neal and a 28 yard pass from Worley to A.J. Branisel.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôve got a great O-line,‚Äù inside linebacker Ramik Wilson said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs probably the best O-line we‚Äôve faced this year. They called the right play and we didn‚Äôt execute our play.‚Äù
The flip play conversion was set up after Blake Sailors was called for a delay of game for stomping his foot on a fourth-and-6.
Tweeted Fox Sports‚Äô Mike Pereira, a former vice president of officiating for the NFL: ‚ÄúThe foul in the Georgia game was correct. The defender took a jab step in an attempt to draw a false start. That is a foul.‚Äù
Opponents are converting on fourth downs against Georgia 60 percent of the time, which ranks 82nd nationally and ninth in the SEC.