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After blowing leads in 3 games, Tennessee came back from 21 down to beat Georgia

For once, the Vols got to make a comeback, not be broken by one.

For once, it was Tennessee that found itself in a hole — and, as had been the case for three Vols opponents this year, coming from behind actually worked out.

The Vols rallied from a 24-3 deficit in the second quarter to stun Georgia, 38-31, at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, as Butch Jones finally got a signature win in his time on Rocky Top.

This could have been a truly embarrassing loss for Tennessee, too. After Georgia lost Nick Chubb to a horrific leg injury on the game's first play from scrimmage, the Dawgs were visibly deflated for much of the first quarter. And yet the first score of the game came on a fumble return by Leonard Floyd that instantly extinguished a goal-to-go possession and gave the Bulldogs the lead.

The momentum from that score propelled Georgia for much of the rest of the first half, as Sony Michel filled in admirably for the Dawgs' fallen Heisman Trophy contender and helped stake Mark Richt's bunch to a 24-3 lead. But Tennessee scored twice in the final 3:27 of the second quarter, and cut a comfortable lead back to one touchdown in a blink.

That 24-3 lead mirrored the one that Alabama took to halftime at Georgia just one week ago, and while the Tide built on that lead in the second half, Georgia couldn't even get to intermission with it intact. Those touchdowns made the game tight again, and allowed Tennessee to lean on Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd instead of spending the second half having the erratic Dobbs try to pass them back into a tightly contested battle.

With Dobbs and Hurd sharing the load between the 20s and clever play calling getting short touchdown passes in the red zone, Tennessee scored 14 more points in the third quarter to put Georgia on its back foot. And despite a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter, one that Tennessee answered swiftly, the Dawgs were never able to get back on the attack.

For Jones, the win is a vindication for his program, which had blown three double-digit leads this season. The Vols could have shriveled again after the Reggie Davis punt return to put Georgia up by three scores, but (mostly) aggressive play that had been missing from most of Tennessee's quarters this season made the difference on this day.

And the rumbles about Richt's future at Georgia? They're going to get louder now, after another stunning upset loss. No, there's really no shame in losing to an Alabama team that might still be the best in the country on its best days, and it's not as if Richt had anything to do with Chubb getting hurt — but Georgia lost a 21-point lead against a team that it had spent two quarters demoralizing, and missed on a game-tying touchdown that Davis just dropped late in the fourth quarter.

Seven days ago, Georgia looked like the clear class of the SEC East. Now, the Bulldogs are in the middle of the standings, down their best player, and likely relegated to the role of spoiler.

Seven days ago, Tennessee had just taken its third unbelievable loss of the year. Now, the Vols have extricated a gorilla from their coach's back, and have a chance to use a micro-level comeback as a turning point for their season.

A lot can change in a week of college football.