When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Radio: Bulldog Radio Network, you can find a list of affiliates here, ESPN Radio.
Odds: The Bulldogs are currently 14-point favorites, via OddsShark.
The Georgia Bulldogs (4-2, 2-2) return home to Sanford Stadium on Saturday to host SEC East bottom-feeder Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-3).
After a heartbreaking loss to Tennessee two weeks ago, the ‘Dawgs rebounded to defeat South Carolina 28-14 last weekend. Nick Chubb returned to the lineup and was outstanding, rushing for 121 yards and two scores on just 16 carries. Sony Michel also had his best day of the year, racking up 133 yards on the ground. As a team, Georgia rushed for 326 yards.
Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason wasn’t good. He completed just five of 17 passes for 29 yards. Fortunately for the ‘Dawgs, Eason didn’t need to be perfect.
On the other side, Vandy coach Derek Mason is likely fighting for his job. In his third season, Mason has a 9-21 record and a 2-17 mark in SEC play. The Commodores showed moderate growth in 2015, winning two conferences games after going winless the year before. A road win at Georgia could go a long way for Mason.
Vanderbilt ranked 79th in the country against the run, allowing an average of 177 yards per game on 4.8 yards per carry. Chubb and Michel could be in store for a big day.
Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter: Vandy’s passing game shouldn’t be too much of an issue for the Georgia defense. However, no one thought Perry Orth would throw for 288 yards against the Bulldogs last week either. The best way to stop the Commodores is to get pressure on struggling quarterback Kyle Shurmur. That’s where junior linebacker Lorenzo Carter comes into play.
After struggling to get into the sack column all of last season and early this year, Carter has a sack in each of the last two games. An explosive athlete, Carter needs to get to the quarterback more often. On the season, the ‘Dawgs have just 11 sacks as a team. Carter has the potential to change that number.
Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb: Webb is probably one of the best players you’ve never heard of. The 5’10”, 202-pound junior has rushed for 686 yards and five scores on the season. With 2,741 career rushing yards, Webb is just 403 yards away from breaking the school career rushing mark set by Zac Stacy back in 2012.
Georgia is solid against the run, allowing 119 yards per game. Opponents average under four yards per carry though, so Webb will find it tough to get yards against the Bulldogs, especially with Vandy’s struggles throwing the football. Look for Vanderbilt to try and get Webb involved in the passing game, too.
So what happens?
Georgia has struggled against lesser competition all season. In Week 2, the Bulldogs narrowly defeated FCS Nicholls State at home. Can the Commodores pull off the upset?
While this isn’t a great Georgia team, Vandy doesn’t have the offensive firepower to make this game interesting. Shurmur completes just 52 percent of his passes and averages a paltry five yards per attempt. Outside of Webb, the Commodores don’t really have anyone that can threaten UGA’s defense.
Chubb will have a big day and Eason will bounce back to have a solid performance. Georgia’s defense will stymie Webb leading to an easy win for the ‘Dawgs.
Prediction: Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 10