Pre-Snap Read: Georgia

Oct. 6, 2017

By Zac Ellis
VUCommodores.com

Previewing Vanderbilt’s matchup with No. 5 Georgia on Saturday (11 a.m. CT ESPN):

History Lesson: Georgia holds a 56-20-2 edge in an SEC series that dates back to 1893. But the two teams have split the last four meetings, with Vanderbilt winning last October’s matchup in Athens, 17-16.

Names to Watch (Georgia)
RB Nick Chubb
The senior has been a staple of Georgia’s running game since his true freshman season. Chubb now ranks fourth among active NCAA players with 3,904 career rush yards and 35 touchdowns, and he’s a big reason why the Dawgs average 237.4 rush yards per game in 2017.

QB Jake Fromm
The true freshman Fromm was thrust into the starting role following a knee injury to sophomore Jacob Eason in the season-opener vs. Appalachian State. Since then, Fromm has started four games, completed 60 percent of his passes and thrown for 734 yards and eight touchdowns. Coach Kirby Smart has not officially tabbed Fromm as the starter vs. Vanderbilt, but he’ll likely get the nod.

LB Roquan Smith
The Dawgs’ leading tackler with 38 stops, Smith is one of the leaders of a Georgia defense that ranks fourth in FBS in total defense (3.8 yards per play). He paced the team in tackles in 2016 with 95, becoming the first Georgia sophomore to do so since 2008.

PODCAST: Previewing Vanderbilt's matchup with No. 5 Georgia

The Statistical
3
Points allowed by Georgia in SEC games in 2017. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in conference play following wins over Mississippi State and Tennessee. Georgia outscored those two foes 72-3 and is fresh off a 41-0 win over the Volunteers in Knoxville.

40
Pass attempts by Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur in last week’s loss to Florida. It was the most pass attempts in a game for the Commodores since 2015, when Johnny McCrary threw 42 passes at South Carolina. Against the Gators, Shurmur finished 18-40 for 264 yards and three touchdowns.

143.2
Pass yards per game allowed by Vanderbilt’s defense. The Commodores are among the stingiest pass defenses in the country, ranking sixth nationally in that category. They allow just 5.4 yards per attempt and have given up three passing touchdowns while notching five interceptions. That defense will likely face a true freshman quarterback in Georgia’s Jake Fromm this week.

The Big Question: Can Vanderbilt channel recent history? Last October, the Commodores earned the first marquee win of the Derek Mason era with a 17-16 victory over the Dawgs in Athens, the program’s first SEC road win under Mason. That result helped propel Vanderbilt to a 4-2 finish to the 2016 season. It’s a different year, but can the Dores utilize the same magic at home?

Vanderbilt Needs To: Stop the run. Chubb and fellow senior Sony Michel form one of the most lethal running duos in college football. They have combined for 736 yards and nine scores on the ground. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, ranks 13th in the SEC in rushing defense (204.6 yards per game). The Dores must contain the Bulldogs’ rushing attack and force Fromm to make plays through the air.

Did You Know? A win over Georgia would mark Vanderbilt’s first consecutive wins over the Dawgs since 1956-58 and give the Commodores their first win over an AP top-10 team since 2007.

He Said It: “I’m thankful for this stretch in the middle of the season. It hardens you for the back-end of the season and makes you the team that you want be. But first, we’ve got to get through this Georgia game, and we’ve got to look to win it. That’s what it’s about. It’s not just about going to play well. It’s about trying to go win, and that’s exactly what we plan to do.” –Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason, on playing four straight ranked opponents

Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.
 

 

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