Georgia Football Three Keys: Vanderbilt

Three keys Georgia

Georgia faces Vanderbilt on Saturday in Nashville. Here are your three keys to a Georgia win over Vanderbilt.

By Steve Wright

Conference games first up are always a little scary. Is the team ready? Have the prepared right? Will they be able to overcome the rust as the better side?

These are just some of the questions that Georgia will have to answer as they face Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday. Here are the three keys:

Key 1 – Dominate up front

While skill position players rely on something of bedding in period at the start of the season, the guys in the trenches are generally able to come out swinging. Their job isn’t so much timing and finesse that needs to be worked on as much as it is strength and technique that has been honed over the offseason and in during previous years.

The Bulldogs have one of the best offensive lines – and potentially the very best line – in the entire country. This will give quarterback Jake Fromm the benefit of extra time in the pocket to make his reads and his passes, something that will be invaluable in the first half of this contest.

Key 2 – Pressure the Vanderbilt quarterback

The Vanderbilt quarterback position had been in the reliable hands of Kyle Shurmur until this season. Shurmur was an under the radar star in the SEC, but as he is now slinging passed for the Kansas City Chiefs it is time for a new era in Nashville.

The problem with this new era is that neither of the two-quarterback options available for Vanderbilt has done anything to stand out. It looks like some combination of Ball State graduate transfer Riley Neal and/or junior Deuce Wallace will see snaps for the Commodores on Saturday.

Whichever of the quarterbacks is under center, Georgia needs to get after them. Coach Derek Mason has no idea who his best QB is, so a strong start by the Georgia front seven will likely rattle whoever is passing the ball and allow Georgia to turn up the heat in the second half.

Key 3 – Stop the big plays

The only way that Vanderbilt stays in this game is if their offensive playmakers come up big with chunk plays.

It is hard to see a scenario where Vanderbilt grinds the ball up the field against Georgia, the Bulldogs defense is simply too strong for that. That is why the No. 3 team in the country has to keep everything in front of them on defense. By doing so they will be challenging Vanderbilt to win the game by going on long, steady drives that they will not be able to complete.

What Vandy does have is a running back that is one of the best home run hitters in the entire conference. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is the leading returning rusher in the league after going for 1,244 yards last season. He also carries the ball at over five yards per pop and is capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. Stopping his running ability will be massive here.

Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). Watch on the SEC network.

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