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Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
Georgia’s high-powered offense faces its toughest challenge to date when Vanderbilt’s stingy defense rolls into Sanford Stadium on Saturday. Georgia ranks 10th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 47.3 points per game, and amassed a school-record 713 yards of total offense in a rout of overmatched Florida Atlantic last week. Vanderbilt stands 16th in the nation in scoring defense at 13.3 points, yet could not generate enough offense in losing close games against South Carolina and Northwestern. The Commodores routed Presbyterian last week for their first victory.
ABOUT VANDERBILT (1-2, 0-1 SEC): Quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels made his first start last week and the transfer from Wyoming passed for 195 yards. The Commodores finished with 605 yards of total offense against Presbyterian, but will face a much stiffer test this week from the Georgia defense. Running back Zac Stacy is averaging 86 rushing yards per game (seventh in the SEC). The kicking game has been strong: Carey Spear is tied for second in the conference in field goals (7-for-8), while punter Richard Kent is fourth with a 44.7 yard per punt average.
ABOUT GEORGIA (3-0, 1-0 SEC): Freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have solidified the Bulldogs’ backfield, giving quarterback Aaron Murray even more offensive options. Gurley (92.0 yards) and Marshall (60.7 yards) are in the top 15 in the SEC in rushing yards per game, and both topped 100 yards last week. Murray passed for a career-best 342 yards last week, moving into a tie for second in school history with 67 career touchdowns. Three different receivers have eclipsed the 100-yard mark so far this season.
1. One week after earning national defensive player of the week honors against Missouri, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones did not play against Florida Atlantic due to a groin injury. Jones said he expects to play against Vanderbilt.
2. The Commodores scored just 26 points in eight quarters against South Carolina and Northwestern.
3. Georgia beat Vanderbilt last year 33-28 as Murray passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns. After the game, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham engaged in a shouting match and had to be separated by players and referees.