The question that made running back D’Andre Swift smile after the game wasn’t about his 17 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. Rather, it concerned his abilities as a receiver.
The junior running back hauled in four receptions for 72 yards, causing headaches for the Tennessee defense on the ground and through the air as the Bulldogs rolled to a 43-14 win.
“Dude’s a playmaker, man,” quarterback Jake Fromm said after the game. “Guy came out, he played awesome, balled his little heart out.”
Swift’s first catch moved the Bulldogs down to the Tennessee 3-yard line and set up Georgia’s first touchdown, a one-yard plunge by none other than Swift himself.
However, it was Swift’s second catch that was his greatest highlight of the night.
On a third-and-4 from the Georgia 31-yard line, Fromm drifted to his left. He floated a pass downfield for Swift, who caught it all alone on the sideline and tiptoed his way down to the Volunteer 25, keeping alive a drive that ended in a field goal to give Georgia a 10-7 lead.
Swift said the Volunteers were playing zone coverage and the corner didn’t follow him down the field, allowing him to break free. The receivers congratulated him on a job well done keeping himself in bounds down the sideline, but he also caught some grief.
“My coach was like, ‘Why didn’t you cut back?’” Swift said. “I didn’t know where I was at when I caught the ball, I thought I was out of bounds. I’m glad Jake kept me in bounds.”
Swift’s final two catches came on the final drive of the first half. His receptions of 15 and four yards moved the Bulldogs from the Tennessee 47 to the Volunteer 28, setting up a touchdown pass from Fromm to George Pickens two plays later to put the Bulldogs up 26-14 going into halftime.
“I think a lot of guys got catches, and that’s what we’re built off of,” receiver Lawrence Cager said of Swift’s performance. “The play doesn’t care who makes it. Whoever’s in the game, whenever the ball comes to you, you go make a play.”
So as Swift fielded questions on Saturday night, he had reason to smile. He said he loves being able to catch passes out of the backfield as a way to separate himself from other running backs.
With 139 all-purpose yards against Tennessee, Swift did just that.