The national champion, Georgia Bulldogs picked up where they left off last season.
All-America tailback Herschel Walker rushed 161 yards and scored a touchdown and quarterback Buck Belue threw two scoring passes to Lindsay Scott as Georgia shut out Tennessee, 44-0, before a state record crowd of 79,600 yesterday in Athens, Ga.
The victory margin was the largest in the history of the Southeastern Conference series, which Georgia leads, 9-8-2. It was the worst defeat Tennessee has suffered since 1923, when it lost to Vanderbilt, 51-7.
"We got whipped about every way you can from the kicking game throughout," said Coach Johnny Majors of Tennessee. "I thought, entering the game, Georgia had a chance to be a better football team at this time of year than they were when we played them a year ago. They showed that was right."
Don't tell that the Georgia Coach Vince Dooley. "We had some individuals who played good games but we're a long way from playing as a team consistently," Dooley said.
One of those individuals was Walker, who carried 30 times but sat out much of the fourth quarter. He scored the Bulldogs' opening touchdown on a one-yard dive.
Belue, who completed 10 of 15 passes for 140 yards, threw a 15-yard coring pass to Scott in the second quarter and came back with a 23-yarder in the third quarter.
Freshman kicker Kevin Butler has three field goals for Georgia, ranked 10th in the Associated Press preseason poll. His kicks were from 36, 44 and 45 yards.
Butler's five extra points extended Georgia's streak to 106 in a row, breaking the SEC mark of 105 previously held by Tennessee. His 14 total points set a school record for single-game points scored by kicking.