But before we get into particulars, this will be the game for the 4th Annual Goat Roast, held at the Blind Pig in Athens, with T Kyle King doing a live and in person book signing. Podunkdawg will have more info for you in a few weeks, along with getting the T Shirt contest going.
Back on point, there was a time I thought Vandy would be the last team in the SEC I would hate. Well, Coach James Franklin brought "culture change" and this:
UGA vs Vandy 2011 ending (via spencercofc)
That's Franklin trying to go after Shaun Williams and Coach Grantham defending his team in a moment I'll remember forever and solidifying my hate on that one man. Oh, and that culture change? It resulted in a beat down last year and my personal favorite offensive performance of the year. And I have to wonder and ask about culture change at Vandy, with 4 players charged with rape in a dorm this summer and then dismissed from the team. They are innocent until proven guilty, but this is simply unheard of at a fine academic institution before now. Maybe Franklin's desire to check out the ladies gave the wrong impression after all. No, I'm not a fan of Franklin, and I'll hope Vandy can restore a formally fine reputation. Now, let's learn a little about the on field stuff...
Head Coach: A jackwagon
Date: Oct 19 time TBA
Vandy Last Season: Georgia 48 - Vandy 3. Vandy finished 9-4 (best since 1915) 5-3 in the SEC, 3-3 in the east, 0-3 vs ranked.
Series Record: Georgia 54-18-2 Series has been played since 1893
Coach Mark Richt Record: 11-1 (only loss was 2006)
Coming into this game and the Vandy slate in general the Commodores look to continue to have winning ways. With last year being one of their better years in history, their hope is to have another solid year. They have a pretty manageable schedule all in all, which would be called "easy" if you were UGA. However, the talk is if expanded recruiting is resulting in expanded discipline issues. It's a growing pain that the usually pretty darn clean ‘Dores have to learn to balance out. In this writer's all honesty, I can support Vandy but I don't support James Franklin, and he may be taking them down a wrong path. That's the "vibe" I pick up and my opinion only of course. There is tension on the team and that usually translates to tension on the field.
Vandy's first test is finding a starting QB. It looks like it will be Austyn Carta-Samuels, a 6'1" 220lb Senior who saw just a little playing time last year with 14 of 25 completions, 208 yards and one TD. He was a starter at Wyoming before transferring to Vandy in 2011. That gives him a little time in the system to be pretty familiar with how Franklin wants to run things. As you can guess with his size and history, he has a little bit of a run game. But his start is not 100%, with Red Shirt Freshman Patton Robinette, 6'4" 204lbs looking to be the future for Vandy's signal caller position. Robinette had a good HS career and has a year in the system, expect his role to grow through this year and be the starter for 2014.
Along with losing Jordan Rogers from the QB position, Vandy lost their strongest weapon with Zac Stacy last year, so they are also looking for the go to rock pounder. Look for sophomore and smallish (5'8" 180) Brian Kimbrow and Senior Wesley Tate (6'1, 215) to be toting the rock for the ‘Dores. One area of large concern for Vandy is their O line, which really struggled last year being highly unable to keep opposing D's out of the backfield sitting at 112th in Stuff Rate. With Vandy's overall record, it shows just how valuable last year's starting QB and RB were to move the ball when they could. There is talent on the offensive side of the team, but it's unproven and untested. The Vandy staff will have to work hard to find the right combinations of players on O and schemes. Although they desire to continue to find a solid year, it maybe a rebuilding year to get some playing time for a more experienced squad for 2014.
Last year Vandy's D used a strong pass defense and very solid red zone D to work the bend but don't break formula to win the games they did. It's probable the D improves this year with a solid corps of linebackers with Seniors Chase Garnham and Karl Butler leading the way. Vandy's going to need those stops to give the O as many chances as possible. Completing the linebacker corps are a set of highly recruited Freshmen Nigel Bowden and Zach Cunningham, along with a solid set of sophomores. The linebacker corps is the strength of this year's Vandy team. The match up of our O line against their LBs will be one to watch closely.
Behind those linemen and backs are a strong set of DBs with a trio of Seniors Kenny Ladler, Javon Marshall and Andre Hal. The secondary had more than a handful of solid games, in fact it was mostly only Aaron Murray that ruled their roost last year. With a weak line but a solid second and third level, I would expect Georgia to run, run, run work in the screen, occasional wing pass and trickeration type play. Personally, even though they are strong against the pass, we are still the league's premier passing team, and shutting down Mizzou or Kentucky last year doesn't really factor the same as shutting down the league's best passer (sorry AJ McCarron, not really) and our own deep receiver corps. And I imagine Bobo will test it anyhow just to ensure we can run the ball even more.
I expect a slower start for the Dawgs, building into a solid victory. Our run game should easily get 5 yards + per carry, freeing up the play action pass and working a traditional Mike Bobo formula. Vandy will have their starters more solidified by this game, however, Georgia will be running like a machine by this game, and Mark Richt continues to perform well at true road games. I'll be disappoint if we don't have linebackers running lose in the Vandy backfield. I anticipate a great day at the Blind Pig, and a beatdown of the Commies. Georgia by 25. See you there, and