(photo: The Vanderbilt Hustler)
Coming off their first conference win of the season, the Bulldogs are set to continue their success in Nashville against Vandy on Saturday afternoon. Georgia defeated South Carolina 40-13 last week and improved to 3-0, while the Commodores suffered a 41-23 loss at the hands of Stanford and fell to 1-2.
New coach, New Vanderbilt?
Clark Lea took over as head coach after Derek Mason was fired after last season. Lea was previously the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 2018-2020. His Notre Dame defense in 2020 was eighth in fumbles recovered (10), 14th in scoring defense (19.7), and 25th in total defense (343.6). Although it’s unrealistic to think that his past success would transfer over in year one, I believe that they made the right decision to turn the program around. Lea is a Vanderbilt alum, playing his final two years of eligibility as a fullback for the Commodores (’02-’04).
The Vanderbilt offense is led by QB Ken Seals who is 63-114 for 553 yards and 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on the year. Their leading rusher is Re’Mahn Davis, who has carried the rock 44 times for 211 yards and 1 touchdown, but they will have to rely on Rocko Griffin as Coach Lea confirmed that Davis will be out for the rest of the season after tearing a ligament in his toe. Griffin has run the ball 28 times for 136 yards. They average 145 yards rushing per game and 208 yards passing.
Their defense has given up a staggering 393 yards of total offense through three games, with 197 coming through the air and 196 coming on the ground. They have given up 10 touchdowns and 28.3 points per game.
When asked about Georgia’s defense, Coach Lea explained that he had much respect for the schemes and aggression, but also pointed out that there are opportunities there as well. “…finding ways to separate the first level with the second level, and trying to design some space for us to get the ball to play-makers will all be a part of the formula.”
𝐖𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 | 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐫 pic.twitter.com/s2Vosoy2e0
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) September 23, 2021
Georgia’s offense has continued to improve as the Bulldogs’ weapons heal. They are now averaging 35.5 points per game while only allowing an average of 7.7 to opponents. They average 4.7 yards per carry and 157 yards per game on the ground. Through the air, they average 272 yards and 9.4 yards per pass.
With a hot Arkansas team coming into Athens next week, the Bulldogs need to remain focused and not allow themselves to look past this Vandy team.
Georgia is a 35.5 point favorite (si.com) with a total sitting at 53 points. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. ET at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, TN.