#10 Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Commodores
Saturday, September 12, 2015, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, Tennessee
Opening Line: Georgia -19
Current Line: Georgia -21
Opening Total: 56
Current Total: 50 1/2
Opening Money Line: Georgia -1500 / Vanderbilt +900
Current Money Line: Georgia -1500 / Vanderbilt +900
Last week, the SEC went 13-1 straight up in the opening week of the 2015 season. Ten of the fourteen teams are currently ranked in the AP poll. The only loss last week came from the Vanderbilt Commodores who lost at home 14-12 to Western Kentucky. It gets much more difficult for the hapless Commodores, coached by Derek Mason, who open SEC play at home against the #10 Georgia Bulldogs Saturday.
Georgia, coached by Mark Richt, beat Louisiana-Monroe 51-14 last week in a game shortened by numerous weather delays. The game was halted with with 9:54 left in the fourth and wasn’t considered an official game by betting standards. This was a gift to backers of ULM and the under, but disappointing to Georgia and over bettors. Georgia was a 35 point favorite and the total was 57.
Georgia leads the series 54-19-2 all-time in a series that dates back to 1893. Georgia has won 18 of the last 20 games in the series, including 44-17 in Athens last year. Vanderbilt upset Georgia in Nashville 31-27 in 2013.
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Georgia jumped out to a 35-0 lead before UL-Monroe scored with 20 seconds left in the first half to make it 35-7 at halftime. The Warhawks scored early in the third to make it 35-14. Georgia would add a safety and a touchdown to extend the lead to 44-14 at the end of the third. There was a 76 minute delay in the third. Just over a minute after Georgia scored to make it 51-14, coaches and administrators from both schools agreed to call the game.
Georgia had 435 total yards including 243 rushing yards. ULM had 251 total yards including 206 passing. The Bulldogs had 19 first downs to 12 for the Warhawks. ULM had the only turnover of the game. The Warhawks actually time of possession 27-23.
Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert, a Virginia transfer made his first start for the Bulldogs. He completed 8 of 12 passes for 141 yards with two touchdowns. Brice Ramsey completed two passes for 51 yards with a touchdown. Running back Nick Chubb had 16 carries for 120 yards with 2 touchdowns. Keith Marshall had 10 carries for 73 yards with 2 touchdowns. Sony Michel had 6 carries for 41 yards, along with 2 catches for 79 yards with a touchdown. Receiver Malcolm Mitchell had 3 catches for 51 yards with a touchdown. Tight end Jeb Blazevich had a touchdown catch.
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Vanderbilt was actually a 2.5 point underdog at home against Western Kentucky last Thursday and the total was 60. Neither team could get much going on offense, and Vanderbilt would kick a field goal late in the second quarter to make the score 3-0 at halftime. Western Kentucky would take a 7-3 lead with a minute left in the third quarter. Vanderbilt would kick another field goal early in the fourth to pull within 7-6. Western Kentucky scored again with less than 9 minutes to go in the fourth to make it 14-6. The Commodores got the ball back with less than 3 minutes left, and drove 77 yards down the field. Quarterback Johnny McCrary threw a two yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield with 33 seconds left to make the score 14-12. The Hilltoppers stopped Vanderbilt running back Nathan Marcus a yard shy of the goal line on the two point conversion attempt. WKU recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.
Vanderbilt had 385 total yards including 217 passing and 168 rushing yards. WKU had 246 total yards including 209 passing. Vanderbilt had 20 first downs to 11 for Western Kentucky. Vanderbilt had 3 turnovers, including 2 in the red zone and also missed a 28 yard field goal. Vanderbilt had the ball for over 36 minutes.
McCrary completed 18 of 34 passes for 217 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, and rushed for 58 yards on 8 carries. Running back Ralph Webb had 18 carries for 70 yards, along with 3 catches for 27 yards. Sherfield had 4 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Kris Kentera had 2 catches for 48 yards.
Georgia is 4-0 ATS in road games, 5-1 overall, on fieldturf, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 4-1 in SEC games, and after allowing less than 20 points, 8-3 in road games against teams with winning home records, 5-2 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 9-4 against teams with losing records, 5-11-1 after a straight up win, 3-9-1 after scoring more than 40 points.
Vanderbilt is 9-1 ATS after allowing less than 20 points, 4-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards and on field turf, 8-2 after allowing less than 275 total yards, 8-3 in SEC games, 26-11 in September and 7-3 overall. The home team has covered four of the last five games in this series.
Vanderbilt looks improved on defense from last year as they held a high powered Western Kentucky offense pretty much in check. The offense struggled though and made far too many mistakes. If they do that against Georgia, then it will be a blowout. Georgia should win this game handily on the road against arguably the worst team in the SEC.