Vanderbilt at Georgia: Game Preview
October 6th, 2018 – Vanderbilt at Georgia
Game Time: 7:30pm ET
Location: Sanford Stadium (Athens, Ga)
Line: Georgia -26.0
ESPN FPI: Georgia 96.6%
TV: SEC Network
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: ESPN Radio Savannah 104.3/1400 and ESPN Radio Hilton Head 92.7/1400
Vanderbilt: (2-2, 0-1 SEC)
Georgia: (5-0, 3-0 SEC)
Series History: Georgia leads the all-time series (56-20-2). The teams first met in 1893, with Vanderbilt winning 35-10. The teams played fairly often through the mid – 1900’s and have played every year since 1968.
Last season, Georgia, lead by Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, trounced Vanderbilt in Nashville, 45-14.
However, it’s two seasons ago that will surely be at the forefront of Georgia’s mind. In 2016, for the first time in a decade, Vanderbilt came to Athens and took down the Dawgs. It took 7 completed passes from Kyle Shurmur, and a 4th down stop by Zach Cunningham for the Commodores to upset the Dawgs 17-16.
Passing: 251.0 ypg, 9 touchdowns
Rushing: 163.2 ypg, 8 touchdowns
Total Offense: 6.2 yards per play
Passing: 250.4 ypg, 13 touchdowns
Rushing: 219.80, 11 touchdowns
Total Offense: 7.3 yards per play
Pass Yards Against: 211.80, 7 touchdowns
Rushing Yards Against: 154.4, 5 touchdowns
5.2 yards per play
Passing: Kyle Shurmur – 1,231 yards, 99-159, 9 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
Rushing: Ke’Shawn Vaughn – 360 yards, 5 touchdowns, 6.4 yards per carry
Receiving: Kalija Lipscomb – 43 receptions, 480 yards, 11.2 ypc, 6 touchdowns
Tackles: Jordan Griffin – 41 TOT, 1 sack, 2, TFL
Passing: Jake Fromm – 924 yards, 66-91, 9 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
Rushing: Elijah Holyfield – 368 yards, 2 touchdowns, 7.1 yards per carry
Receiving: Mecole Hardman – 18 receptions, 290 yards, 16.1 ypc, 4 touchdowns
Tackles: Richard LeCounte III – 27 TOT, 2 BU, 1 FR
Players to watch:
Offense: Kyle Shurmur – The senior from Philly has been the Commodores’ starting quarterback since the end of his freshman year. Shurmur knows how to win, and he’s done it in Athens before. He was just effective enough in his last start at Georgia to pull out the win. Last season was a different story. In a home game against the #2 ranked Dawgs, Shurmur only passed for 172 yards in a pass-oriented attack. If the Commodores are going to make it back-to-back wins in Athens, Shurmur will have to show up huge.
Defense: Kenny Herbert – Vandy’s sack leader (3.0), Hebert has been a menace to opposing quarterbacks. Tennessee was able to get home against Jake Fromm a couple times last week, which continued a trend of suspect pass protection from Georgia. Herbert could flip this game on it’s head with a timely strip sack.
Offense: Elijah Holyfield – All the hype entering this season revolved around D’Andre Swift in Georgia’s backfield, but it’s been Holyfield who has been the more effective back. To be fair, Swift has been nursing a groin injury, but Holyfield has taken full advantage of his opportunity. Holyfield is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and has that nasty run style that Kirby Smart loves. Expect to see a heavy dose of Holyfield in this one.
Defense: Julian Rochester – A 5 – Star recruit coming out of McEachern but hasn’t shined as much as others along Georgia’s D-line. However, the past couple of weeks Rochester has started to be on more and more stops in the middle. He seems to be embracing the role vacated by John Atkins at the end of 2017. Vanderbilt is going to try to gash Georgia up the middle, Rochester will have to step up to help clog those lanes.
Vanderbilt wins if: Shurmur balls out. Vanderbilt is not going to hold Georgia to 16 points in Athens again. Kyle Shurmur must come up huge in this one for Vandy to have a show. A couple of timely takeaways on defense and a perfect game from Shurmur will have Vandy right there until the end.
Georgia wins if: They don’t beat themselves. Blown coverages, fumbles, and suspect pass protection. All things you can get away with against Tennessee, not Vanderbilt. Derek Mason is a really good coach and has already proven that he can win in Athens. Georgia will need to be laser focused if they’re going to hold on to that #2 ranking.
All things are pointing towards a big Georgia win: homecoming, a healthy D’Andre Swift, Georgia’s first night home game – but don’t be surprised if Vandy gives Georgia everything they can handle. The Commodores gave #8 Notre Dame a scare in South Bend earlier this year.