Georgia Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Preview: Rude Awakenings

Kevin C. Cox

Neither of these teams has started out the season the way they wanted to. So which one ends up with a win

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores, 12 p.m. ET, CBS

Talk about fan bases that have experienced a rude awakening this season. Georgia thought it was on track for its third SEC East title in a row, having defeated the Gamecocks and seized control of the division, when Missouri shocked the Dawgs and threw the entire season into disarray. Vanderbilt fans, meanwhile, thought that their program had finally gotten over the hump and was on its way to relevance in the SEC -- until the 3-3 start that gives them no margin for error in the quest for a bowl.

But rude awakenings or not, both of these teams still do have the room to get to their secondary goals. Georgia's not winning the national championship this year, but the Dawgs can still make it back to Atlanta, and prove that they are the cream of the SEC East once again. And Vanderbilt can still make a bowl, even if the Commodores haven't yet moved on to the next phase of James Franklin's rebuilding process. Winning this game will be a huge step in that direction for either team -- Georgia, by staying in the thick of the SEC East race, and Vanderbilt, by giving itself a little more breathing room in seeking a bowl.

No preview of this game would be complete with mentioning Georgia's injury situation, which appears to still include Todd Gurley along with Keith Marshall and almost the entire first-string wide receiving corps. Vanderbilt might not be a very good SEC team right now, but at least one not-very-good SEC team pushed Georgia hard once its offense stars were gone. Vanderbilt can probably hang with the Dawgs for a while, particularly at home, but the Dores eventually break down.

Georgia 24, Vanderbilt 14

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