Dawgs and Dores at a Crossroads in Nashville
The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a difficult loss to the Missouri Tigers. Vanderbilt’s goal was to be a top 25 caliber team this season, but the Commodores are 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play. Week eight will be a turning point for the team that is victorious. Georgia will either rebound or head further south, while Vandy looks to navigate their SEC schedule which will only get more treacherous.
Georgia Cannot Afford to Turn the Ball Over
Georgia self-destructed last weekend against Missouri, turning the ball over four times. The Bulldog defense is vulnerable enough without the offense making things easier for the opposition. The majority of the miscues by the offense were side effects from Georgia’s injury bug, so the Dawgs must learn to adapt and overcome their roster issues.
The Health of Todd Gurley
For UGA, having running back Todd Gurley at their disposal would solve a myriad of issues. Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green are both talented, but neither is ready to start at tailback for The University of Georgia. ESPN reveals that Georgia head coach Mark Richt expects Todd Gurley to be back soon. Gurley and the Georgia coaching staff will have to decide whether he should return for the contest against Vanderbilt or take a few more weeks to heal for Florida.
Austyn Carta-Samuels is an Experienced Quarterback
I remember watching Austyn Carta-Samuels win a bowl game his freshman year as the starting quarterback of Wyoming in 2009. Having transferred to Vanderbilt, he is a talented passer who is fully capable of making life miserable for Bulldog Nation. UGA must pressure Samuels to force other Commodores to beat them.
Statistically, Vanderbilt ranks in the top half of the nation throwing the football. However, the Commodores are currently rated 80 in rushing yards. If the young Georgia defense can prevent the Commodores from converting on third down through the air, it will severely hamper their chances to pull off an upset.
The View From Vanderbilt
The Commodores last played on October 5, when they too suffered a defeat at the claw of the Missouri Tigers. Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and his team have had two weeks to prepare for a visit from the Georgia Bulldogs. According to The Tennessean, Coach Franklin is looking forward to the early kickoff. “I love the early game, I don’t think our guys like just sitting in the hotel waiting for the game to start”. Vanderbilt will be ready for the kickoff at noon Eastern.
The Stakes are High for Georgia and Vanderbilt
Georgia has beaten Vanderbilt six years in a row. It is critical for Bulldog Nation be able to pick up lucky number seven on the road. The Dawgs have had more than their fair share of setbacks this season; still, Georgia is still the favorite to capture the SEC East if they do not suffer another conference loss.
Vanderbilt is a quality football team. The Commodores would love to ruin Georgia’s conference title hopes in the process of notching their first Southeastern Conference victory of 2013.