Vanderbilt football visits Georgia on Saturday in Athens. Here are your three keys to a Vanderbilt victory.
By Don Yates
1. Pressure on Daniels
Georgia quarterback JT Daniels recently took over the starting role as the Bulldog signal-caller. Daniels is a Southern Cal transfer. He has passed for over 3,400 yards 21 touchdowns in his less than one and 1/2 season college career. In two games at Georgia Daniels has connected on 38 of 54 passes for 540 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. So far he has the look of a normal hotshot accurate throwing Georgia quarterback that we’ve seen so much of over the past 20 years or so. Vandy has got get some pressure on him. He does seem to give up more sacks than normal. He’s been sacked 31 times in his stints at USC and Georgia. Maybe Dayo Odeyingbo can get a pair of sacks or even an amazing three in Athens.
2. Pierce UGA
It’s been a rough season so far but one of the bright spots has been the play of wide receiver Chris Pierce Jr. Pierce has caught five touchdown receptions combined in the past five games. He is currently tied for the third most in touchdown receptions among Power 5 receivers during the span. Pierce Jr.’s five touchdown grabs this season are the most for a Commodore since Jared Pinkney (7) and Kalija Lipscomb (9) in 2018. Pierce is big and strong and showed against Florida that he can break tackles and make it to the end zone. Vandy needs to get the ball in his hands, along with other notable Commodore receivers such as Cam Johnson, Amir Abdur-Rahman, Ben Bresnahan and others.
3. Be road Warriors
You have nothing to lose. No one gives Vandy a snowball’s chance in hell to defeat Georgia, especially in Athens. That’s the way it was going into Athens in 2006 and 2016. However, both those teams came back to Nashville with victories. They weren’t dominating victories. In 2006 the ‘Dores prevailed 24-22 after kicking a field goal late in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good. In 2016 Vandy used a strong defense to stop Georgia cold on a 4th and 1 situation very late that basically ended the game. This team has come up winless so far this season. There have been Commodores that have won their first game of the season and then won no more. Maybe the stars will be lined up for the Commodores to get that victory in the last game or two of the season. Why not on Saturday? The Commodore players just need to believe in themselves and take it one play at a time.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). You can watch this Vanderbilt football game on the SEC Network.