A look at Georgia-Vanderbilt: because a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

Birds fly.  Fish swim.  Bloggers blog.

There’s a game tomorrow, so here I am.  Georgia, in case you’re wondering, is currently ensconced as an eight-point favorite on the road.  We all like to tell ourselves that Georgia struggles with Vanderbilt, historically speaking, but as Mr. Steele records it, if that margin were to hold up, it would actually be the third closest result in the last twelve years.  Things, in other words, generally aren’t that tight when these two play.

So the Dawgs aren’t getting much love against a team that they’ve beaten in 13 of their last 14 meetings.  And to add insult to injury, this isn’t a particularly strong Vanderbilt squad Georgia is fixing to meet on Saturday.

Vandy is basically Tennessee-lite:  solid running game, questionable passing game (yeah, I know), respectable defense.   I would expect the ‘Dores to follow the UT game plan on both sides of the ball.  And in a normal season, that shouldn’t be enough.  After all, this is a team with a twelve-point loss to the next worst team in the SEC.  And Vanderbilt lost to Army last week.

But as we all know, this isn’t shaping up to be a normal season.

The two things that have to be of greatest concern tomorrow seem pretty apparent.  The first is turnover margin, usually the best way for a lesser opponent to level the playing field in a game.  Vandy did a great job riding that through the early part of last season en route to seven wins despite having a sub par offense.  This season, the ‘Dores are currently +5 in TO margin, which is actually a better pace than they finished with in 2008.  Georgia is -11 in TO margin.  Sad to say, it’ll be an above-average game for the Dawgs if they can do better than -2 on the day.

The other area of worry has to be team psyche.  There’s no telling how the coaches and players are going to react to the firestorm created in the wake of the Tennessee debacle.  But I will say that as bland as Coach Richt sounds in saying this, he’s right.

“I just said, ‘Priority No. 1 is to focus on preparing for Vanderbilt and trying to win this game,’ ” Richt said. “There’s nothing else that’s worth focusing on. There’s nothing more important that we can do right now other than get a plan together and get ready to win. Everything else is really just not important right now.”

Competency and focus would be welcome right now – even against Vanderbilt.  And, yeah, on a certain level, I know how bleak that sounds.  But Richt’s got a huge, immediate task in not losing his team and he can’t afford to get bogged down in bigger picture stuff.  It’s not a time to worry about making a statement – although I’d enjoy a game like that as much as anyone.  It’s a time to rebuild confidence.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

14 responses to “A look at Georgia-Vanderbilt: because a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

  1. Joe B.

    I just hope to see Aaron Murray in the game.

    And, we should throw it to AJ Green 20 times.

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  2. Christian

    I can’t envision a scenario where we win by 10+ pts. We’ve talked big this entire year about focus, determination and turning the season around and after six (6) games, we are what we thought we were (ht Dennis Green).

    I’d say Dawgs 24-20 would be about right with a heavy, heavy dose of AJ & Early…..

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  3. SCDawg

    If I remember correctly, didn’t Vandy beat us in 2006 in part by rolling their QB out of the pocket and hitting guys in the flats who were kind of wide open? Sounds like last week a little bit.

    For all its faults, Vandy does have a pretty good coach, I’m sure he’s seen a little film, and we may see some of that. If we continue a recent trend and make Vandy’s awful QB look good like we did last week, what does that say about where this program is defensively, and where it’s going next year?

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  4. Turd Ferguson

    I’ve got a feeling that, at around 4pm tomorrow, I’ll be dissatisfied … no matter what happens. Saturdays, for me, have become almost entirely a matter of rooting for other teams to lose (and drinking, of course).

    So here’s hoping that Arkansas pulls an Ole Miss on Florida, that the Hokies embarrass the Nerds, and that Bama and the ‘Cocks figure out a way for them both to lose.

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  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Loss of enthusiasm noted. If you want to take a sabbatical, a vacation to where there’s no football, or cut back for a while, we’ll understand & check back regularly.

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  6. Turd Ferguson

    By the way, even if we win, I betcha that Larry Smith has his best game of the season against us.

    If there’s anything you can count on when it comes to Georgia, it’s that we’re kind enough to give others a chance to shine. Especially terrible quarterbacks.

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  7. pup

    Like gator coaches say there are just some things Ga. defenses never ever cover!!!

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  8. 69Dawg

    The question for this game is can VU’s D stone our O. We will give it up on D to any QB with a pulse but will they be able to out score us.

    Stay tuned cause if we blow this one we are in for a Tommy Tubberville/Phat Phil 2008 season. The last thing this team needs is no bowl practice.

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  9. Dog in Fla

    Having learned a valuable lesson last week from opposing enemy masters, Lane and his Daddy, I will say there’s only one game each year that we must win and that’s the game against the Steve Martins, but will only say that after, not before, we beat the Steve Martins in which they have duly honored us as their homecoming fodder.

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  10. Rocketdawg

    We just need to win the damn game. Period. Right now I think that is about the best we can expect from this team. Just go out and take care of the football, play smart defense (ok how about just semi retarded defense?), and for Pete’s sake hit somebody on the O line. Geez……

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  11. Oviedo Dawg

    Very well put RocketDawg. If we’re going to play semi-retarded defense, we should do it with Freshman and sophmores. If upper classmen make these mistakes, they should be on the bench. Maybe if they sit for a couple series, they’ll focus more when they get back in there. Whatever happened to earning playing time?

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  12. HVL Dawg

    I’m glad this game isn’t being played in Sanford Stadium under a chorus of boos.

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