HEAD TO HEAD: VANDERBILT VS. GEORGIA

Vanderbilt visits No. 13 Georgia on Saturday in Athens. VandyMania.com's Don Yates compares the two teams in several critical areas. He also makes a prediction on the game's final score.

VANDERBILT PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
GEORGIA PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: GEORGIA
REMARKS: Vanderbilt is ranked 115th nationally in passing offense averaging 148 yards per game. Last week at Kentucky freshman quarterback Wade Freebeck completed just 8-of-25 passes for 85 yards and three interceptions. However, it’s possible that Patton Robinette could return to the starting lineup after suffering a concussion in the South Carolina game. Robinette has completed 72 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions. Steven Scheu is Vandy’s top receiver 13 catches for 188 yards and a TD. Vandy’s blockers have allowed 11 sacks so far in 2014 including four to Kentucky.

Georgia is ranked 66th nationally in pass efficiency defense in allowing an average of 232 yards a game through the air. Last week against Tennessee, Vol quarterback Justin Worley completed 27-of-44 passes for 284 yards, no interceptions and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs have picked off three passes this season. Aaron Davis leads the Bulldogs in pass breakups with four and has one of the interceptions. Linebacker Amarlo Herrera leads the Dawgs in sacks with three.

VANDERBILT RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
GEORGIA RUSHING DEFENSE
EDGE: GEORGIA
REMARKS: Vandy is ranked No. 108th nationally and last in the SEC in rushing offense Vanderbilt averages 102 yards rushing per game. Ralph Webb continues to lead the ‘Dores in rushing but the redshirt freshman had his worst game of the season last week against Kentucky rushing for just 46 yards on 13 carries. Veteran Jerron Seymour beginning to play more like his old self. Seymour has gained 80 yards on 14 carries and scored the winning TD against Georgia last year.

The Bulldogs are ranked 25th nationally in rushing defense. Senior linebacker Amarlo Herrera leads the Dawgs in tackles with 34. He also has three tackles for losses. Fellow linebacker Ramik Wilson is second in tackles with 32. He has four stops for negative yardage.

GEORGIA PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
VANDERBILT PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Georgia is ranked 111th nationally and 13th in the SEC in passing offense 162 YPG. Quarterback Hutson Mason has started every game this season for Georgia completing 58-of-84 passes for 566 yards, five TDs and two interceptions. Senior wide receiver Michael Bennett leads the Bulldogs in receptions with 14. Georgia will also see the return of two key receivers who have yet to play this season. Georgia’s blockers have given up just six sacks this season.

Vandy is sixth in the SEC in sacks per game, averaging 2.45. Nickel back Darrius Sims had the first Commodore interception of the season at Kentucky and returned the pick for a 13-yard TD. Caleb Azubike has five sacks this season for the ‘Dores. Cornerback Paris Head is one of the more experienced returnees from 2013 and got his first start of the 2014 season at Kentucky. His play was solid against the Cats and he’s listed as the starter for Georgia.

GEORGIA RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
VANDERBILT RUSHING DEFENSE
EDGE: GEORGIA
REMARKS: Georgia is the ninth ranked team in America at running the ball. Todd Gurley is a showcase running back for the Bulldogs. He’s gained 610 yards in 69 carries (8.8 YPC). In his most recent outing against Tennessee Gurley gained 208 yards (7.4 YPC) and scored two TDs, one a 51-yard run. Freshman Sony Michel is no slouch either at running the ball. He has 223 yards rushing this season including a 75-yard run against Troy.

The Commodores are ranked No. 69 in the nation in rushing defense and are 11th in the conference in that category. Middle linebacker Nigel Bowden leads the ‘Dores in tackles with 36 including 17 solos. Bowden also has a pair of tackles for losses including a sack he had at Kentucky. Safety Andrew Williamson (27) and cornerback Torren McGaster (26) are two other key tacklers.

SPECIAL TEAMS
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Vanderbilt’s Tommy Openshaw has connected on 3-of-4 field goals with a long of 30 yards and 7-of-7 extra point attempts this season. Punter Colby Cooke is third in the SEC and 24th nationally in punting averaging 44.5 yards per punt. Two weeks ago against South Carolina Darrius Sims returned two kickoffs for TDs. Vanderbilt has blocked one but conversely has had a field goal blocked by opponents.

Marshall Morgan has connected of four of six field goals, his longest from 37. Collin Barber averages 42.1 yards per punt for Georgia. Todd Gurley also returns kicks and averages 49 yards per return with one TD. He returned that one 100 yards against Clemson. Isaiah McKenzie returned one punt for a 52-yard TD. Georgia has not blocked an opponent’s kick or punt and the Bulldogs haven’t allowed one of their own to be blocked.

Both teams have somewhat solid kick/punt return teams.

COACHING
EDGE: GEORGIA
REMARKS: Vanderbilt's Derek Mason is in his first season as a head coach and has led the 'Dores to a 1-4 record. He won his first college game against UMass in week 3. In 2012 Mason was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach, after directing a defense that ranks among the best in the nation and finest in Stanford history. Mason has some NFL coaching experience serving stints with the Vikings, Raiders, Giants and Rams.

Mark Richt is in his 14th year as head coach at Georgia and has a solid 129-46. He’s led the Bulldogs to 13 straight bowl games including a pair of Sugar Bowl wins. Richt came to Georgia from Florida State, where he was the offensive coordinator. He also served as an assistant at East Carolina.

INTANGIBLES
EDGE: GEORGIA
REMARKS: Georgia leads the all-time series with VU 53-19-2. Vandy won last year in Nashville 31-27. Georgia’s Sanford Stadium is one of the more hostile venues in the SEC East and it’ll be homecoming for the Dawgs. For Vandy, they can go in with an “us against the world” mentality and hope to pull another shocker. The Commodores last won in Athens in 2006 under Bobby Johnson.

PREDICTION: Georgia 38, Vanderbilt 13

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