Vanderbilt seeks its first conference win of the season against a Georgia Bulldogs team looking to stay in contention for the SEC East title this Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia.
“Our goal this week is to go 1-0,” head coach Derek Mason said at the Vanderbilt press conference Tuesday. Mason also acknowledged Georgia’s run game—lead by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel—would be the primary threat.
Both Chubb and Michel notched 100-yard performances in the Bulldogs’ 28-14 win over South Carolina. Both backs are averaging over five yards per carry, which fairs well against a Commodore defense that allows 177 rushing yards per game.
Running back Ralph Webb has been the main source of offense for Vanderbilt this season, as he is second in the SEC in rushing yards with 682 yards. However, he is squaring off against a Bulldog defense that has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher all season.
The quarterbacks for both teams look to have improved performances this week. Georgia’s true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason threw for only 29 yards last week, while Vanderbilt’s Kyle Shurmur has not thrown a touchdown pass in the last two games.
Eason has shown potential to be a dominating quarterback in the SEC the next few seasons. A comeback win over Missouri—where he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns—and a Hail Mary against Tennessee later wiped away by another Hail Mary on the game’s final play foreshadow what is to come.
Shurmur faces a steeper challenge against a Bulldog defense that collected five sacks last week. The Commodores offense is arguably the worst in the SEC.
“Hearing that makes me wanna puke,” the sophomore quarterback said when asked about if he could see future success in the offense.
The running backs for Georgia will be called time and time again on Saturday. With a Vanderbilt offense that has failed to score over 13 points in conference games this season, expect the Bulldogs to control the tempo of the game and establish an early lead. Webb will produce and potentially be the first 100-yard rusher Georgia has seen all season, but the Bulldogs’ defense will take advantage of a struggling Commodore offense more times than not. Georgia wins and remains in the SEC East race, 31-10.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by Benjamin Gray, courtesy of Creative Commons