STATS THAT MATTER: Georgia – 45, Vanderbilt – 14

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STATS THAT MATTER: Georgia – 45, Vanderbilt – 14

Sony Michel dives for the goal line and the touchdown at the end of a 50-yard run. -  UGA vs. Vanderbilt -  Saturday, October 7, 2017
Sony Michel dives for the goal line and the touchdown at the end of a 50-yard run.
– UGA vs. Vanderbilt –
Saturday, October 7, 2017

A look back at what decided the game last week between Georgia and Vanderbilt. Here are the stats that matter…

Georgia’s offensive unit, perhaps living in the shadow of the Bulldogs’ rugged defense this football season, not only wrested the spotlight this past Saturday on the Vanderbilt campus but, did it in spectacular style.
Rushing for 423 yards, the sixth-best individual game total in UGA history and the most since the 1987 season, the Bulldogs literally ran the Commodore defense into the ground as the unbeaten Dawgs waltzed to a 45-14 win at Vanderbilt Stadium. It was truly the Nick Chubb and Sony Michel show as Michel rumbled for 150 yards on just 12 carries including a 50-yard scoring run and Chubb charged for 138 yards on 16 carries including touchdown jaunts of 33 and 14 yards.
With freshman Jake Fromm throwing for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 7-of-11 completions and Jacob Eason coming on in the fourth quarter and nailing all three of his pass attempts for 24 yards, the Georgia offense totaled a whopping 549 yards on the afternoon.
Thus, Georgia continues to sail along unbeaten at 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEC with the Missouri Tigers venturing between the hedges Saturday night for UGA’s annual Homecoming tilt. Now, let’s look again at even more attractive Stats That Matter as the Bulldogs continue their climb among the nation’s top five teams.


In the first half, Chubb had a 33-yard run for the Bulldogs’ first touchdown, Michel ripped off a 27-yard run on Georgia’s short 45-yard scoring drive, and Fromm connected with Javon Wims on a 23-yard pass to spark the Bulldogs’ 80-yard drive that staked Georgia to a 21-0 lead at the time. Vanderbilt got a 28-yard run from Ralph Webb in the first half and a 38-yard pass from Kyle Shurmur to Kalija Lipscomb, which set up Webb’s 1-yard scoring run. In the second half, the explosive plays continued with Michel posting a 20-yard run, Fromm hurling a 57-yard TD bomb to Terry Godwin and Michel ripping off his 50-yard scoring dash. Shurmur added a 20-yard completion in the second half.


The Bulldogs picked up a few nagging penalties, getting assessed seven times for a total of 46 yards. And the lone turnover, when
Jacob Eason was nailed from the blind side and fumbled in the final quarter, did lead to the Commodores’ second touchdown.


Outstanding once again in this area. The Bulldogs had excellent kick coverage, Cameron Nizialek boomed the ball 59 yards on his only punt of the game and Rod Blankenship made his only field goal attempt — a 27-yarder.


Give the Georgia defense an “A” in this department once again as the Bulldogs limited the Commodores’ run game to just 64 yards on 22 carries. Vandy’s ace running back, Ralph Webb, was checked to 47 yards on 12 carries, though he did run through several would-be Georgia tackles on a 28-yard jaunt in the first half.


Clean game here as the Bulldog quarterbacks didn’t throw any picks and the lone fumble was when Eason was crushed on his first pass attempt after spelling Fromm in the final period. Conversely, the Georgia defenders didn’t get any takeaways from the Vandy offense in this game.


Can you say perfect? The Bulldogs ran their flawless scoring mark in the red zone to 23-for- 23 on the year (tied for first nationally) by going 4-for-4 Saturday inside the Vandy 20, with three touchdowns and Blankenship’s field goal. The Commodores also got touchdowns on their two lone trips inside the red zone.


Best day yet for the Georgia offense in this area as the Bulldogs converted first downs on seven-of-11 third-down opportunities. The Dores, meantime, could convert only six of 15 times against the Dogs’ D.


As mentioned, a banner day for the UGA offense as the Bulldogs ran 68 plays for 549 yards with the rushing game netting the aforementioned 423 and the passing attack adding 126 yards. And, as also mentioned, the Commodores had just the 64 yards rushing on 22 attempts while quarterback Kyle Shurmur completed 17-of-31 passing attempts for 172 yards and one touchdown.


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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.