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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings pulls in a 12-yard touchdown catch against Georgia defensive back J.R. Reed during Saturday night's game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.

Updated with postgame coverage and a photo gallery at 12:20 a.m. on Oct. 6, 2019.

KNOXVILLE — In quarterback Brian Maurer's first start for Tennessee, the Volunteers had moments to warrant some optimism for their team.

Georgia had moments that proved it was a far better team.

Maurer threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns but turned the ball over twice, the Tennessee defense gave up 526 yards and the third-ranked Bulldogs won 43-14 in front of 92,709 at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night.

The Vols (1-4, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) host Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1) next Saturday at noon.

Georgia (5-0, 2-0) showed the sort of balance that has made its offense one of the best in the country. Junior quarterback Jake Fromm threw for 288 yards and a pair of scores, and Georgia rushed for 238 yards, led by Brian Herrien's 88 with a touchdown. D'Andre Swift ran for 72 yards and Zamir White added 57 as the Bulldogs averaged 5.8 yards per carry against the Vols.

"Against a good team, you've got to make them earn it. And tonight we didn't always make them earn it," Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said. "They've got a good quarterback. If you make a mistake, he's going to take advantage of it."

Maurer completed 14 of 28 passes but had an interception and a fumble — after being sacked by Eric Stokes — that resulted in a 60-yard touchdown by Bulldogs linebacker Tae Crowder for the game's final points.

"I thought Brian did a really nice job in the first half, and we did a good job protecting him," Pruitt said. "Skill players made some nice plays for him."

The 6-foot-3, 193-pound freshman from Ocala, Florida, did provide an early spark, although it took a possession. Ty Chandler had a 16-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, but then Maurer had a pair of incompletions, Chandler was bottled up for a 1-yard loss and the Vols had to punt.

Georgia responded with a 12-play, 84-yard drive with three running backs combining for 35 yards on eight carries. Swift scored from a yard out for the game's first points.

The Vols responded on the second play of the second possession with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Maurer to Marquez Callaway. Maurer's first  touchdown throw of his Tennessee career was the program's longest since a 75-yard completion from Josh Dobbs to Josh Malone in a 52-21 win over Kentucky on Oct. 31, 2015.

After holding the Bulldogs to a 50-yard Rodrigo Blankenship field goal, Maurer led a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings, and the Vols went up 14-10. He was 5-for-8 on the drive, with the completions covering 66 yards.

The Bulldogs scored the final 33 points. Blankenship had two more field goals, and Fromm threw touchdown passes covering 3 yards to Lawrence Cager and 7 to George Pickens. The touchdown tosses came in the final 1:59 of the second quarter, giving the Bulldogs a 26-14 lead at halftime.

After Cager's touchdown catch put Georgia up 20-14, the Vols had a chance to stay close, with Maurer leading them down the field. A 47-yard Brent Cimaglia field-goal try went left for the junior's first miss of the season, though, and the Bulldogs responded by going 70 yards in five plays to take the two-score lead into the break.

Jarrett Guarantano, the junior and returning starter Maurer replaced in the lineup, came in on a couple of occasions in the second half and completed his first pass, a 14-yarder to Dominick Wood-Anderson for a first down.

Nigel Warrior had 10 tackles to lead the Vols' defense, and Theo Jackson made nine stops.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3 or at Facebook.com/VolsUpdate.

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