Sitting Pretty After Winning Ugly

ATHENS - It wasn't pretty, but Georgia found a way to its extend its winning streak to five games Saturday night at Vanderbilt.

The Bulldogs battled through mistakes on special teams and defense to hold off Vanderbilt, 33-28. Georgia (5-2, 4-1 in the SEC) remains in a first-place tie with South Carolina in the SEC East.

"I just don't know if we're ready to continue on top of the Eastern Division the way we played tonight," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We've got to get better in a lot of areas."

Georgia is on its longest winning streak since winning a combined 11 in a row during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

But the victory over Vanderbilt didn't come easy.

Georgia needed a career day from quarterback Aaron Murray, who passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns. That allowed the Bulldogs to overcome allowing two special teams touchdowns, one on a kickoff return and one on a pass on a fake punt.

Surely, Georgia will put a lot of work into special teams during its bye week to prepare for its Oct. 29 game against rival Florida.

"At the end of the day, it's a win," Murray said. "It's pretty ugly whatever it is, but it's a win. We have a lot to work on."


--There was a post-game skirmish which resulted in a heated exchange between Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. "I love our players," Grantham said. "I'm going to stick up for my players. Everybody's competitive. Said Franklin: "We just had a tough, emotional game and some things were said that I didn't think were appropriate. I went to find Coach (Mark) Richt and didn't find him, so I found one of his assistant coaches and it didn't go well. We're not going to sit back and take it from anyone."

--CB Brandon Boykin lined up at quarterback on two plays against Vanderbilt in Georgia's "Wild Dog" formation. Boykin rushed for no gain on a direct snap on his first play. On the second play, Boykin handed off to RB Richard Samuel for a 10-yard gain. "He's an athletic guy, and we've been working on getting him in there like that for some time," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. Boykin has lined up at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and cornerback, in addition to returning punts and kickoffs for the Bulldogs in his career.

KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Marlon Brown. The junior receiver had a career-day against Vanderbilt, finishing with four catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. His 75-yard touchdown pass play in the fourth quarter allowed Georgia to hold on for the victory.

LOOKING GOOD: Georgia's secondary held Vanderbilt to 149 yards passing and recorded three interceptions. On offense, the Bulldogs were strong again on third down, converting 8-of-18 third down. Georgia was able to make big plays in the passing game, averaging 14.8 yards per completion.

STILL NEEDS WORK: Once again, it was a poor day for Georgia's special teams. The Bulldogs allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown, missed two field goals, got burned on a fake punt and allowed a blocked punt in the closing seconds that nearly cost them the game. Georgia was penalized 11 times for 89 yards, including three personal foul penalties. Georgia's previously strong run defense allowed Vanderbilt to gain 200 yards rushing on an average of 5.6 yards per carry.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I hate the fact that at the end of the game, we can't just shake hands like gentlemen and walk off the field like men of integrity." -- Georgia coach Mark Richt, on the post-game skirmish following the Bulldogs' 33-28 victory at Vanderbilt.

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