Posted: 8:03 pm Friday, October 14th, 2016

Top 3 things to know: Vanderbilt vs. Georgia 

By Jay Black

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Georgia’s defense looked strong on Sunday. But can they keep it going on a short week.

Is a short week really a factor?

Even with one fewer day to prepare for Vanderbilt, Georgia should dominate this game.

The Commodores lost to Georgia Tech by 31. Tech isn’t that good.

But Georgia hasn’t dominated anybody yet.

Kirby Smart was a little concerned about losing this day when the South Carolina mess was getting sorted out because, well, coaches are always bothered by a breakup of the routine.

“I wouldn’t say (there were) any major issues,” said Smart. “Just some longer hours for the coaches, making decisions quicker than you’re comfortable with. You’ve got to work quicker. We started on the bus on Vanderbilt and used those three hours.”

If the Dawgs are winded, the big guys will show it first.

“When you get tired and get a little bit out of routine, the first thing that goes is your legs and the ability to push the pile,” said UGA analyst Eric Zeier.

The one thing that did concern Smart about this short week is Georgia hasn’t played an offense like Vandy’s yet.

“It’s completely foreign to our kids,” said Smart.

While Georgia has faced a lot of spread opponents, Vanderbilt has an old school power rushing attack. You know, kind of what UGA’s defense faces in practice every day.

It’s not like the Commodores are fooling anybody though.

Ralph Webb is second in the league in rushing, but his team is last in the SEC in total yards and passing yards. It’s next to last in points and rushing yards.

This should be Georgia’s biggest win of the season, but nothing has been guaranteed with this group so far.

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Did Nick Chubb and Sony Michel start a trend in South Carolina?

Those two were fun to watch, weren’t they?

Sunday was the first time the Dawgs best offensive weapons were fully healthy at the same time and it showed.

UGA’s 326 yards on the ground were the most against an SEC opponent since Ole Miss in 2007. Brian Herrien had 80 yards and threatened to give Georgia its first trio of 100 yard rushers in a game in school history.

Vanderbilt head coach Derrick Mason is trying to build his program on defense and after a rocking start, they’ve made a few teams play ugly the last two years.

“He does a lot of things that make it very difficult to execute,” said Smart. “I’ve always enjoyed watching them against the opponents we’ve played.

They’ve only allowed 15 points per game in SEC play and lost all three of its league games by a total of 13 points.

LB Zach Cunningham is leading the SEC in tackles and tackles for a loss and will be the best defensive player on the field.

Chubb and Michel probably won’t be able to duplicate what they did last week, because that’s hard to do, but those two should have another very good performance.

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Is Jacob Eason better on Saturday than Sunday?

Georgia’s freshman quarterback threw for only 29 passing yards against South Carolina on Sunday. That’s the lowest output for any Georgia quarterback since the Bush administration. The first one.

Smart said after the game and again during his game-week press conference on Tuesday that there was never any thought of taking Eason out of the game, despite the fact that Eason was 5-for-17.

“(The decision) is based on your ability to execute and perform inside the offense,” said Smart. “Sometimes outside circumstances affect statistics.”

Those outside circumstances were the wind and a few dropped passes.

One of Eason’s best qualities though is his composure. He doesn’t appear to let anything bother him during a game (i.e. the fourth quarter against Tennessee). So this will be another good test of the kid’s bounce back ability.

Vanderbilt is giving up the fourth fewest passing yards in the SEC, but that’s a little misleading because they’ve faced South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida and Georgia Tech.

Not exactly the greatest shows on turf.

I can see Eason throwing quite a bit in this game to get his confidence back and also to help with the search for reliable receivers. Right now, there’s very little Georgia can count on here besides little Isaiah McKenize and that bloom appears to be off the rose.

Isaac Nauta could have another strong performance.

 

 

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