GA News: OnlineAthens - Georgia vs. Vanderbilt: Who has the edge?

TideFans Reporter

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Sep 21, 2006
October 14th, 2016 01:26 PM

Vanderbilt’s offense is producing the third fewest yards in FBS at 299.5, ahead of only Buffalo and Rutgers. The Commodores are mustering just 152.3 yards per game passing, which ranks last in the SEC and 120th nationally.
Quarterback Kyle Shurmur is 4-7 as a starting quarterback at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt is averaging 19.0 points per game and just 9.7 points in three SEC games.
The Commodores surrendered four sacks last week and have allowed 13 this season, which ranks eighth in the SEC. Shurmur said he “got a little antsy at times in the pocket” last week. “I’ve got to do a better job of that.”
Georgia’s 399.8 yards per game on offense ranks 78th nationally and its passing offense is a pedestrian 104th at 184.2.
The Bulldogs have three of the SEC’s top 15 rushers in Nick Chubb (5th, 546 yards), Brian Herrien (13th, 340 yards) and Sony Michel (14th, 330 yards).
Quarterback Jacob Eason is 12th in the SEC in passing efficiency (112.0) and Shurmur is 14th (99.5). Eason has eight touchdowns and five interceptions and has thrown for 1,020 yards. Shurmur has three touchdowns and three interceptions and has thrown for 837 yards.
Freshman Kalija Lipscomb from New Orleans and junior C.J. Duncan lead Vanderbilt with 17 catches. Lipscomb has two touchdown catches.
Vanderbilt will have to step up its run defense to slow down a Georgia offense that rolled up the rushing yards on Sunday at South Carolina. The Bulldogs are 32nd in the nation at 215.7 yards per game in rushing.
Kentucky rushed for 258 yards last week against Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky put up 205 two weeks earlier. The Commodores are giving up 176.8 yards per game on the ground.
Vanderbilt has allowed 215.3 yards per game through the air, 47th nationally.
The Commodores have given up 46 points total in three SEC games.
Vanderbilt dropped four would-be interceptions last week and ranks 72nd nationally with four interceptions.
Georgia is 42nd nationally in total defense at 367.8 and 70th in scoring defense at 28.0. Vanderbilt ranks seventh in the SEC in scoring defense at 23.0 and total defense at 392.2.
The Commodores rank last in the SEC with five sacks. Georgia now has 11 after racking up five last week at South Carolina.
Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham leads the SEC with 62 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss.
Georgia’s defense will be bolstered by defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter coming off suspension and the likely return of inside linebacker Reggie Carter, who sat out against South Carolina after a concussion.
Both teams are enduring what can come with freshmen punters. Vanderbilt’s Sam Loy is seventh in the SEC at 42.5 yards per punt. He bobbled a snap last week and couldn’t handle a snap a week earlier that Florida recovered at the Vanderbilt 14. Georgia’s Marshall Long is 12th in the SEC with a 39.5 average.
Vanderbilt is second in the SEC on kickoff returns at 25.1 with Darrius Sims averaging 27.5 per return. Georgia is fifth in the SEC at 23.3. The Bulldogs are last in kickoff coverage in the conference and have eight touchbacks on 31 kickoffs. Vanderbilt is last in the SEC in punt returns at 2.4 yards on 12 returns and Ryan White twice fumbled punt returns last week. Georgia’s Isaiah McKenzie averages 9.6 per return.
Vanderbilt’s Tommy Openshaw is seven of 9 on field goals with a long of 48. Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship is one of two, converting from 27.
Georgia’s Kirby Smart is 4-2 in his first year as a head coach and 2-2 in the SEC. Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason is 9-21 in his third season, including 2-11 in road games and 2-17 in SEC games. Commodores offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig is in his second season in Nashville after holding the same position at Wisconsin.
Vanderbilt is 0-9 in SEC road games under Derek Mason. It’s homecoming at Georgia, but also a noon kickoff like the game against Nicholls in week two that Georgia got all it could handle in a 26-24 win.
Vanderbilt has pushed SEC opponents hard the last two weeks before falling. Would a shortened week make Georgia vulnerable? Don’t count on it. Georgia has won eight of the last nine in the series. The Commodores will be hard-pressed to get to a bowl game if they lose this because three of its final five games include at Auburn and home against Ole Miss and Tennessee. Georgia’s running game, like last week, will be too much and the thinking here is Eason bounces back as well as the Bulldogs pull away.


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