Vanderbilt Week: Kendall's look at the game

ATHENS - Josh Kendall takes a look at Georiga's game with Vanderbilt.

No. 16 Georgia (5-1, 2-1 SEC) vs. Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-3 SEC)

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. (TV: Lincoln Financial, Radio: 940-AM)

Stadium: Sanford Stadium (92,746)

Tickets: Sold out

Kickoff weather: High of 71, low of 44; sunny; 20 percent chance of rain

Series: Georgia leads 47-17-2

Last meeting: Georgia won 34-17 in Nashville in 2005

Odds: Georgia favored by 13

Injuries: Georgia: Probable: TE Tripp Chandler (concussion); Questionable: S Donavon Baldwin (knee); Out: PK Brandon Coutu (lhamstring); OL Zeb McKinzey (shoulder). Vanderbilt: Probable: QB Chris Nickson (ankle, thigh), OL Elliot Hood (shoulder); Questionable: OL Brian Stamper (hamstring); TE Brad Allen (knee); Out: TB Jeff Jennings (knee), S Ben Koger (leg).


Georgia's ground game found a little traction against Tennessee last week as both Kregg Lumpkin and Thomas Brown ran well. One of those two will start today, and both will play plenty. Lumpkin has been the better runner all season, but Brown is a better blocker. Vanderbilt tailback Cassen Jackson-Garrison averages 65.3 yards per game and is exactly the kind of back Georgia struggled to stop against Ole Miss. A big guy (220 pounds) who runs physically inside.


In his return from a three-game layoff, Joe Tereshinski looked like the quarterback who started the first two games of the season, -- gritty but limited. He has yet to throw for more than 164 yards in a game and has the same number of interceptions (two) as touchdowns (two). True freshman Matthew Stafford will play more today than he did last week, which won't be hard since he got only one series against Tennessee, and this could be the game he begins to wrest the job from Tereshinski. Vanderbilt's Chris Nickson is exactly the kind of mobile quarterback (285 yards rushing) that has given Georgia problems this year.


Georgia's defense has plenty to prove, but its problems run deeper than a one-game aberration against the Volunteers. Missed tackling is becoming a trend, as is spacy secondary play. Vanderbilt isn't great, but the Commodores are good enough to exploit another bad game by the Bulldog defense. Defensive ends Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson will be looking to make amends for their worst game of the year. Vanderbilt's defense is led by middle linebacker Jonathan Goff, who has 50 tackles this year, 20 more than any of his teammates.

Special teams

No self-respecting Georgia fan will get up to go to the concession stand when the Bulldogs are punting, not after the Bulldogs have had three punts blocked in the last two games. Bulldog fans can't even leave their seats when the Commodores are kicking, lest they miss another runback by Mikey Henderson. The Georgia junior is averaging 22.5 yards per return, which is fourth best in the nation. He's also tied for the national lead in punt returns for a touchdown (two). Vanderbilt place-kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt is struggling. He's made just 4-of-8 kicks this season and has two misses from between 30 and 39 yards and one miss from inside the 15-yard line. Vanderbilt also struggles covering kickoffs, which is an area Georgia has begun to excel in, so watch for another big kickoff return.

One to watch

Defensive end Quentin Moses has one sack in six games. It's not the kind of season anyone expected from the senior from Athens. His poor output had been glossed over through five games because Georgia was winning, but the Tennessee game was exactly the kind of game in which he needed to make a difference. He was almost invisible. Regardless of his numbers, he'll be a prime NFL prospect next year because of his size and athleticism, but he needs to pick up his production or his draft stock will slip some.


Georgia's coaches say all the right things about Vanderbilt, and those things are mostly true. The Commodores are a pretty good team that has had some bad breaks. If they don't turn the ball over, and Georgia's defense doesn't tackle, Vanderbilt will leave Sanford Stadium with its first win in this series since 1994. However, the Bulldogs should show some fight after being whipped last week, and teams that always get bad breaks, like Vanderbilt, usually are making some of those breaks on their own. Look for a closer game than Bulldog fans want and more worrying come Sunday.

Winner: Georgia

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