The 1-2 Vanderbilt Commodores will look to recover from their defeat last time out against Stanford as they welcome the mighty Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) to Nashville. Here are the three keys to a Vandy win:
By Steve Wright
1 – Stay in the game
The worry here is that this one gets out of hand early. The Bulldogs have been as explosive as anyone in the country over the past couple of weeks with back-to-back 40 plus point-scoring outputs. They scored a couple of long touchdowns against South Carolina last week and Vanderbilt hasn’t exactly been good at limiting the explosive downfield pass. Vanderbilt needs to put some fear in Georgia by keeping things close, playing a quarter at a time, and hopefully being in the fight come the sharp end.
2 – Keep Georgia out of the backfield
Quarterback Ken Seals has shown the ability to make throws when given time. The problem here is that it is entirely likely he will have no time as the buzz saw that is the Georgia defense will be in his face. The Bulldogs have 13 sacks and a safety on the season, along with a pair of pick-sixes that came directly from quarterback pressures. The Vandy offensive line hasn’t seen anything close to this Georgia front-seven so far this season and the line calls and help plays will be important against their dominant edge rushers.
3 – Win on third down
Vandy will have to win in a number of areas – turnover margin, penalties, etc. – to stay competitive here, but one big area will be on third down. Georgia is second in the SEC in third-down conversions, while the Vandy defense is fifth at stopping them in the SEC. This has been an area of the Vanderbilt game that has noticeably improved in 2021, but with JT Daniels in the starting lineup for Georgia last week they look unreal on third down. The best chance Vandy has here is to force Georgia into awkward situations on third down, which really means winning the battle on first and second down with at least some consistency.