It was not a pretty game against Vandy. But very few have been in the last five years against Vandy for the Dawgs. Georgia managed not to have a let down performance after their shocking win over Tennessee one week earlier, but that was about all that could be said about the performance.
David Greene was impressive again, as he threw for 305 yards on 19 completions and two touchdowns. Georgia had only 55 offensive plays while the Commodores could not outscore the Dawgs even tough they had 88 plays and held the ball for almost ten more minuets than Georgia. Billy Bennett's 27-yard field goal with time running out in the first half seemed to put the game away. Georgia was as sloppy as the weather in the second half, but Bennett's kick gave Georgia enough of a cushion to cruse on to the win.
Musa Smith was also impressive against Vandy. Smith, who injured himself in the Vandy game, had 69 yards on only 9 carries. One of those carries was a 40-yard jog that ended in the Vandy endzone. Smith also had a touchdown on the first drive of the game from 3 yards out.
What we learned:
We learned that this was not a Jim Donnan letdown performance. Head Coach Mark Richt had the team prepared to win, even if the Dawgs looked very ugly in doing so. We also learned that the Defense was going to have a difficult time stopping teams from gaining yardage (436), but not a particularly difficult time at preventing them from scoring (14 points).
The Vanderbilt game is always a sneaker. Georgia cannot afford to look too far ahead to Florida or feel too beat up because of the Tennessee game. We learned that this team was ready to methodically beat the Commodores with a balanced offensive attack and a defense that forced Vandy mistakes.
What was said:
"It was good to win. It's a little disappointing that we did not finish the game like we should have. The defense came out and played a great second half. A couple of turnovers on offense gave them life and we cannot do that. We came to play, we took care of business in the first half and had over 300 yards of total offense and that was great." – Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt.
"I thought we were very well prepared for this game - but I have no excuses. This was the first ballgame that we got whooped this year. It feels just as bad as the last-second losses. I am disappointed because I thought we could have played better." - Vanderbilt Head Coach Woody Widenhofer
"This is definitely the best team we have faced yet. They made defensive plays and were able to put us in a hole." - Greg Zolman, Vanderbilt Quarterback
"We knew what we had to do today. We needed to get rolling early and keep the pressure on." - Musa Smith, Georgia Tailback
"Overall, we played well today. But, we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties. I think Vanderbilt is the most underrated team in the SEC. We have a lot of work to do, but we¹re glad to come out of it with a win." - David Greene, Georgia Quarterback
"Our coaches wouldn't let us play flat today. Our captains wouldn't let us play flat today. People were saying this could have been the biggest upset in Georgia history, but we knew we couldn't have a let down." - Terrence Edwards, Georgia Split End
Wednesday: a look back at the Kentucky game
Dean Legge can be reached here: firstname.lastname@example.org