Some early thoughts on Vanderbilt

Boy, if you want a stark example of welcome to the SEC, peeps, check out Bill Connelly’s percentile performance for the Commodores:

  • MTSU:  92%
  • Alabama A&M:  91%
  • Kansas State:  63%
  • Alabama:  7%
  • Florida:  17%

Oof.  Vandy’s offense also earned the dreaded NULL against Alabama, which I assume is Bill’s way of saying, “sorry, percentile performance doesn’t do negative numbers”.

Those last two games have driven VU’s defensive stats from the top of the SEC to the middle of the pack.  In conference play, Vanderbilt ranks next to last in total defense and twelfth in scoring defense.

That’s not the worst of it, however.  Vanderbilt’s ginormous problem on Saturday is that its biggest weakness, an anemic rushing game, is pitted against one of Georgia’s strengths, a run defense that’s holding opponents (including Notre Dame and Mississippi State, the seventh- and fifteenth-ranked teams in rushing offense) under 100 yards per game.  Ralph Webb’s season may be the SEC’s biggest mystery this year and I don’t see that being cleared up this weekend.

So while I don’t think Kirby Smart is blowing Dooley-esque long snappah smoke when he calls Kyle Shurmur “the best pure passing quarterback that we have played against”, it seems inevitable that Shurmur is going to have to succeed against the odds of piloting a one-dimensional offensive attack.  That’s not a place you want to be when your offense has been sputtering for three games now.

Obviously, given last year’s results, this isn’t a game Georgia can take for granted.  Assuming the Dawgs’ mindset is right, though, things look pretty daunting for the anchor down crew.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

32 responses to “Some early thoughts on Vanderbilt

  1. mwo

    The refs and turnovers have plagued us against Vandy in the last few years. Bad targeting calls got us a couple of years ago. It’s about time for Georgia to get a lesson from the officials. If Vandy can’t run it and Shurmur throws the ball all over the yard, I expect a lot of PI and defensive holding calls.

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    • Jack Burton

      Hey, it’s ref guy again!!!!

      Come out and dominate like this team wants to do and we will be fine. Our mentality is execution and domination each and every play.

      Dawgs 48-6

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    • David K

      I wouldn’t worry about the refs. The SEC is eyeballing two undefeated teams meeting in the Championship game and possibly two teams in the playoff.

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      • Uglydawg

        I don’t want any favoritism from the refs and I sure don’t want our opponents getting any. Just want it called honestly. I think they’ve been better this year. I hope they are just fair and unbiased.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If we keep them behind the chains as we’ve done with everyone else we’ve played, we’ll be all right. It won’t be 59-0 all right because I don’t think that’s in Kirby’s DNA, but I wouldn’t be surprised with 31-10 or something similar. The big thing is our special teams let us down last year (to the tune of 200 yards of field position according to Kirby yesterday) … I don’t see that happening again.

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  3. Russ

    (Better than) solid special teams, plus a dominating defense equals another Kirbstomping. I’m going with 38-3 since we’ll rotate quarterbacks and one might make a mistake in our own territory, giving Vandy a shot at a FG. If we avoid mistakes, Vandy won’t score at all.

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  4. I’m actually hoping we’ll struggle a little. It’ll keep us grounded and it’ll also give those who only show up to complain a chance to give us their thoughts on the season. I’d rather struggle against Vandy than Barn so let’s get that struggle out of the way.

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  5. SlobberKnocker

    My family is headed to Nashville for the Vandy game for the first time this week. Does anyone have any suggestions for tailgating? I know its early but, we’re still planning to do a breakfast tailgate.

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    • steve

      The Krystal parking lot is bigger than the Vanderbilt Stadium and has better amenities, too. Good luck.

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    • paul

      I don’t know much about tailgating there, but Nashville is a fun city to visit. Get yourself a custom tailored rhinestone suit.

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      • Rocketdawg

        Centennial park is right across from the stadium. It’s a huge park with lots of green space for a tent and tossing the football around.

        Nashville is a great city! Enjoy the weekend.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Game is at 11:00am CDT so the pregame tailgating scene will be limited.

      The most active tailgating scene can be found in the parking lots behind the Holiday Inn and J. Alexander’s West End. The control of those private lots tend to change each time we go so get there early and you may be able to get a spot. The team enters the stadium across the street at Natchez and 26th.

      Backup plan is the 25th street deck. We’ve set up on one of the small grass areas near the outfield wall of the baseball park and have never been hassled. It’s more laid back and quiet but a nice area if you plan on serving breakfast. I’d pass on the Pancake Pantry for breakfast because the inevitable long line will kill any tailgate time you have.

      After the game, walk to Rotier’s for an old-time Nashville late lunch. It’s a dive, but they have good burgers, steak sandwiches and TVs.

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      • SlobberKnocker

        Thanks, that helps.

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      • 83Dawg

        Rotier’s serves up a nice burger and beer.

        San Antonio taco factory has buckets of beer and decent food.

        The Parthenon area is really scenic, but the cops there are death on open containers. Beware.

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  6. paul

    Despite Vandy’s shortcomings I think they will give us a better game than Tennessee did.

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  7. Cojones

    We have four RBs that are ranked higher than the best RB Vandy has?

    Ho Lee is lined up for a visit.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Ralph Webb was 4th in the conference in rushing and set up the winning score last year on a 37-yard screen pass.

      He’s good.

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  8. AusDawg85

    D wants the shut-out. It’s what’s for breakfast. Dawgs 34 – 0.

    Both Fromm and Eason engineer scoring drives.

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  9. Going back to your post yesterday with Bill C’s advanced stat profile…Georgia is basically running an offense that kinda sucks at getting yards on standard downs, but tends to hit big plays when it is successful at getting yards on standard downs and is very good at finishing drives inside the 40. That is paired with a defense that is keeping teams from getting yards on standard downs, preventing explosive plays when they do stay on track, and doing a good job at preventing other teams from finishing drives inside the 40. I would gladly trade a little bit of the explosiveness on offense for a bit more success on standard downs, but this certainly seems like it’s a winning formula until we run into another elite defense like Auburn.

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  10. Greg

    This isn’t going to be a blowout. Shurmur is solid and can fit the ball into tight windows. UT QB’s inaccuracy caused them to miss out on some big plays thru the air. If UT D had been more opportunistic, they would have picked Fromm 3 times…and he only completed 7 passes to UGA receivers the entire game, mostly on simple patterns where he locked on to one receiver. He played well considering the circumstances of being a true Frosh but our D and ST are giving him a whole lot if latitude. ND is by far the best team we’ve played and our O netted 13 points in that game when you consider Fromm’s fumble deep in our territory led directly to an ND score.

    We are going to have to come up with a more consistent passing game to beat UF and Auburn and to have any realistic hope of beating Bama. Shurmur threw for 3 TD’s with no picks against a good UF D and it was a tight game throughout. They will be desperate to avoid the kind of
    embarrassment they suffered last time they played at home. I think we’ll win somewhere along the lines of 27-10 or 27-17 if turnovers are about even. If they get one or two TO’s early in the game, it could be really close throughout.

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  11. Scorpio Jones, III

    #hats!!!!

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  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    #hats!!!!!

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  13. Macallanlover

    I have been impressed, astounded might be a better word, with us contesting throws the past two weeks, so I welcome another test this weekend to see if my eyes are playing tricks. If we pass the test the next two weeks, I will have no fear for any other offenses n our schedule. I have no reason to worry about Vandy’s running game, or Mizzu’s.

    I hope to see both QBs demonstrate an ability to drive our offense against a decent Vandy defense, that we could not block a year ago. I expect our guys haven’t forgotten that, 70 yard rushing game. I think we win 34-41 to about 10. Just need a solid win, no injuries, and see what Eason has under the hood.

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  14. 1smartdude

    This won’t be a game. Inflated Vandy numbers against cupcakes have nosed dived and that will only get worse this week. I’ll be shocked if the margin isn’t 30 or more. I’ll also be shocked if there isn’t more red in the stands than black and gold, turning what should be a road game environment into more of a neutral site game. That don’t happen very often in the SEC but Vandy is one place it can.

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  15. Freedawg

    Most of our struggles in Nashville have been night games. I think the early start benefits the Dawgs! All Business, no B.S. 37-7

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