Head-to-head: Vanderbilt vs. Georgia

Vanderbilt hosts the surging Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night. VandyMania.com compares different critical team areas of Vanderbilt and Georgia and indicates which team has the edge.

VANDERBILT
EDGE
AREA
Georgia
EDGE
COMMENTS
 
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Georgia rushing defense
This game pits the No. 100 rushing offense (Vandy) against Georgia's No. 12 rushing defense. Tailback Zac Stacy leads the Commodore rushing attack with 284 yards in 40 carries (7.1 ypc.). True freshman Jerron Seymour has 159 carries in 39 rushes. Both Commodore quarterbacks, Larry Smith and Jordan Rodgers, are mobile and have the ability to run. Georgia runs a 3-4 defensive set. Inside linebacker Michael Gilliard leads the Bulldogs in tackles with 40 in 2011. He also has five tackles for 28 yards in lost yardage. Fellow linebacker Jarvis Jones is the team's second leading tackler with 33. He has eight tackles for 39 lost yards. Nose tackle Kwame Geathers (6-6, 350) is a monster that the Commodore offensive line will have to deal with.  
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Georgia passing defense
This matchup pits the Vanderbilt's No. 114 ranked passing offense against the Bulldog's No. 11 passing defense. Larry Smith leads the Vanderbilt passing attack but his status for the Georgia game is uncertain. Smith, who is 54 for 93 for 457 yards (3 TDs, 3 INT) this season, has improved his completion percentage over the 2010 season. However, he's been injured during each of the past two games. Smith's backup, Jordan Rodgers, on the season has completed over 62 percent of his passes for 189 yards and a TD. Last week he threw two picks against Alabama in the second half. The Commodores' top receivers are WR Jonathan Krause (17) and Wesley Tate (10). TE Brandon Barden has nearly 100 career catches but only five on the season. Free safety Bacarri Rambo has four interceptions for Georgia so far this season and is tied for the national lead in picks with Vandy cornerback Casey Hayward. Georgia is 51st nationally in sacks made while Vandy is 111th in sacks allowed. During the bye week before Bama the VU staff did an overhaul of the Commodore offensive line, moving several players and it worked as the line did not give up a sack at Alabama.  
EVEN
Georgia rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
EVEN
Vanderbilt's No. 29 rushing defense and the Bulldog's No. 46 rushing offense are fairly evenly matched. Freshman Isaiah Crowell leads the Bulldogs running attack and averages 95 yards per game. Crowell had 118 yards against South Carolina and 147 against Ole Miss. Carlton Thomas has 180 yards and two scores in 35 carries. Vanderbilt senior linebacker Chris Marve leads the Commodore defense. Marve has 40 tackles including 3 for losses. Sophomore linebacker Chast Garnham has played well and has 33 tackles.  
EVEN
Georgia passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
EVEN
This matchup pits two strong units against each other. Georgia's passing offense is third in the SEC gaining over 235 yards per game. In less than 1 1/2 seasons sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray has already thrown for 4,376 yards and 37 touchdowns with just 14 interceptions. Freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell has 25 catches for 438 yards and three TDs but is expected to miss the game with an injury. Tavarres King and Orson Charles each have 17 catches. Georgia is giving up a little over two sacks per game while the Vandy defense is tallying about two per game. The Vanderbilt secondary, led by the aforementioned Hayward, lead the nation 14 interceptions on the season.
EVEN
Special Teams
EVEN
Georgia's Blair Walsh has connected on 8 of 14 field goals this season. Walsh has a long kick of 56 yards. Vandy's Carey Spear if 3 of 5 with a long of 33 yards. Both Spear's misses came at Alabama on Saturday. Georgia punter Drew Butler averages 46.1 yards per punt with a long of 59 yards. Vandy's Richard Kent is averaging 42.7 yards per boot with a long of 67 yards. Georgia's Branden Smith averages 7.8 yards per punt return with a long of 32 yards. Vandy's Jonathan Krause averages 5.4 yards per punt return with his longest return at 18 yards. Brandon Boykin has an impressive 24.1 yard kickoff return average. He had a 58-yard return against South Carolina. Vandy's Andre Hal and Eric Samuels have combined to give the 'Dores a 21.4 yard KO return average. Both players have returns over 32 yards. UGA is allowing opponents 14.1 yards per punt return and gave up an 84 yarder against Ole Miss. The Dogs allow 21.2 yards on kickoff return and allowed a 50 yard return against UT. Vandy's punt coverage unit is allowing 4.2 yards per return with a long of 16. The kickoff coverage 'Dores are giving up 18.2 yards per with a long of 30 yards. Vanderbilt had a punt blocked for a TD against UConn.
 
Coaching
Vandy's James Franklin is 3-2 in his first season and has brought much enthusiasm and energy to the program. Georgia head coach Mark Richt recorded his 100th career win in a 20-12 victory at Tennessee on Saturday.  
Intangibles
 
Vanderbilt is undefeated (3-0) at home this season. Georgia is on a four game winning streak. Linebacker Cornelius Washington will reportedly miss the game due to suspension.

PREDICTION: Georgia 21, Vanderbilt 14.

See what Vanderbilt fans are saying about this upcoming game in the VandyMania.com football FORUM.

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