GEORGIA RUNS PAST VANDERBILT 41-13
***STORY VIA UGA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS***
ATHENS, Ga. -- The second-ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs remained perfect with a 41-13 rout of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Sanford Stadium on Saturday night.
Five different Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0) produced touchdowns, three through the air from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm (17-for-23, 276 yards) and two on the ground from sophomore tailback D'Andre Swift and senior tailback Brian Herrien.
Junior wide receiver Riley Ridley led eight different Georgia targets with five receptions, 57 yards and a touchdown, while junior Elijah Holyfield paced the Bulldog rushers – who collected a total of 219 yards as a group – with six carries on 64 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore defensive back Richard LeCounte supplied six solo stops for the Bulldog defense, who limited the Commodores to two field goals until the final seconds of the game. Freshman inside linebacker Channing Tindall also provided five tackles on the night.
"We ran the ball against a team that said, 'You're not going to run on us,'" Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. "But we've got to continue to improve...It starts with discipline. It starts with tying your shoes before practice, being on time for practice, being dressed properly, following the rules and regulations." At the 10:30 mark in the opening period, Vanderbilt became the first team to lead against the Bulldogs this season, using a 25-yard field goal to cap a five-play, 50-yard scoring drive.
Following a Rodrigo Blankenship touchback, the Bulldogs used one play to respond: Fromm found Godwin for a 75-yard touchdown, finalized with a five-yard shake-off of two Commodore defenders. A Blankenship PAT ensured a 7-3 margin.
Through the second quarter, the defense supplied a consistent source of pressure with two forced fumbles from junior inside linebacker Tae Crowder and LeCounte, despite both finding Commodores for the recoveries. The Bulldog defense culminated at the 10:35 mark in the second quarter, when a 12-play, 81-yard Vanderbilt drive was halted at the Georgia 14-yard line on a failed fourth-down attempt.
With the Bulldog offense back in possession, Holyfield settled an 8-play, 86-yard drive with an airborne, horizontal dive into the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown run and the 14-3 lead.
The Commodores tacked on another field goal with 2:18 remaining in the first half, but the Bulldog defense held the Vanderbilt offensive unit scoreless until the final seven seconds of the game.
Before the Bulldogs headed into the half, Fromm used junior tight end Isaac Nauta, junior wide receivers Mecole Hardman and Ridley to march to the Vanderbilt 10-yard line. Ridley reined in a 10-yard touchdown, keeping one foot in, to send Georgia into intermission with a 21-6 advantage.
Receiving the ball in the second half, the Bulldogs opened the frame with an 8-play, 75-yard trudge to the Vanderbilt end zone, finalized by a 35-yard D'Andre Swift explosion past Commodore defenders for the touchdown and 28-6 score.
Blankenship used his 53-yarder to make the game 31-6, before Herrien, flanked by the Georgia offensive line, fought for the touchdown after dropping and recovering the ball for the 38-6 clip, complete with a Blankenship extra point.
Blankenship added his second field goal of the day for added insurance before the Commodores produced a final touchdown as the final seconds on the clock winded down.
Next, the Bulldogs head to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a matchup with LSU. The contest is slated for 3:30 p.m. on CBS.