I have already offered a partial breakdown of the Vanderbilt Commodores, but there are additional details worth reporting.
Granted, I already covered the passing game, the running game, and the kicking game---which might be thorough enough for some commentators---but, here at Dawg Sports, we delve a little more deeply inside the numbers in order to bring you . . . Too Much Information.
(Photograph from Athens Banner-Herald.)
Odds and Ends
The Georgia offense has ventured into the red zone 21 times . . . two more times than the 19 treks inside the 20 taken by the Vandy offense. The Commodore defense has allowed 18 deep drives by the opposition . . . one more than the 17 such trips into the shadow of their own goalposts permitted by the Bulldog D. The Red and Black have scored 13 touchdowns in the red zone . . . two more than the 11 tallied by the 'Dores. The 'Dawgs have given up eight T.D.s in the red zone . . . one more than the seven surrendered by Vanderbilt.
The Commodores' Jonathan Goff and Theo Horrocks are two of the S.E.C.'s 10 leaders in fumbles forced. The Bulldogs' Charles Johnson and Quentin Moses are two of the S.E.C.'s four leaders in tackles for loss.
Georgia and Vanderbilt have run the second- and third-fewest offensive plays, respectively, in the Southeastern Conference. The Commodores have scored more offensive touchdowns (16) than the Bulldogs (15), but, when defensive and special teams scores are factored into the mix, the Red and Black have more total T.D.s to their credit (19) than Vandy (17).
The 'Dawgs have given up more first downs on penalties (11) than any other S.E.C. squad. The 'Dores, on the other hand, have been penalized the fewest times (23) and the second-fewest yards (36.7 per game) of any team in the league.
Defensively, the 'Dawgs have allowed the fewest points in the first quarter and the most points in the fourth quarter, whereas Vandy has allowed the most points in the first quarter and the fewest points in the fourth quarter.
The Red and Black have been somewhat balanced on offense, picking up 47 first downs through the air and 45 first downs on the ground, yet the Classic City Canines have allowed more first downs (101) than they have gained (97).
Vanderbilt holds a slight edge in turnover margin, although both teams have recovered a half-dozen of the opposition's fumbles. Although the Commodores have picked off more passes than have the Red and Black, Vandy has fumbled the ball twice as many times as Georgia and the 'Dores have lost more than twice as many fumbles.
The Bulldog offense averages 300.8 yards of total offense per contest. The Commodore defense surrenders 302.8 yards of total offense per outing.
Georgia has scored twice as many rushing touchdowns as passing touchdowns. Vandy has scored equal numbers of rushing and passing touchdowns.
The Feel Good Stat of the Week
Neither team is particularly adept at moving the chains on third down. The Commodores rank 10th, and the Bulldogs 11th, in third-down conversion percentage among Southeastern Conference teams.
However, the two teams' respective defenses perform quite differently against their opponents' third-down conversion attempts. The 'Dores rank eighth in the league in that category, having allowed their opponents to pick up a fresh set of downs on 40.5 per cent of their 79 third-down attempts.
The 'Dawgs, on the other hand, have given up first-down yardage in just 29.5 per cent of the 78 third-down situations their opponents have faced, making them the second-best team in the league in that department.
(Photograph from Athens Banner-Herald.)
The Bottom Line
Bobby Johnson has made the Commodores competitive. All three of Vandy's conference contests this season have been close, low-scoring affairs. In fact, even though the 'Dores are 1-6 in their last seven S.E.C. games, none of those outings were decided by more than seven points.
Vanderbilt ranks 10th in the league in scoring offense, averaging 21.2 points per game. However, the Commodores have managed just 9.0 points per game on the road and they have lost five straight games played outside of the state of Tennessee. Vandy has amassed 11.5 points per game against B.C.S. conference competition and 13.0 points per game against S.E.C. opponents . . . and that came against a conference schedule which, so far, has consisted of the teams possessing the league's sixth-, ninth-, and 10th-ranked scoring defenses.
Georgia, on the other hand, tallies 26.8 points per game and is in the top half of the S.E.C. in scoring offense. The 'Dawgs have scored 19.8 points per game against major conference teams, 21.7 points per game against S.E.C. competition, and 32.3 points per game between the hedges. The Red and Black have amassed these numbers against the fourth-, eighth-, and 10th-best scoring defenses in the Southeastern Conference.
Defensively, the Bulldogs have outperformed the Commodores, as Georgia ranks fourth in the league in scoring defense (14.2 points per game allowed), ahead of seventh-place Vandy (16.8 points per game permitted). The 'Dores have performed slightly better against conference competition, giving up 17.0 points per game against S.E.C. opponents while the 'Dawgs have surrendered 20.0. However, none of Vanderbilt's first three conference clashes have come against a team ranked in the top half of the league in scoring offense, while the Red and Black have taken on the S.E.C. team ranked first in that category.
The Commodores have not fared well in Athens over the years, losing by double-digit margins in each of their last five trips to the Classic City. Furthermore, the Bulldogs are a proud team and surely it has not escaped their notice that Georgia has not allowed more than 61 total points in back-to-back games in the Mark Richt era . . . and the home team gave up 51 last weekend. For their part, the 'Dores have been held to 10 or fewer points in three of their four outings against B.C.S. conference opponents this year.
My Prediction: Georgia 21, Vanderbilt 10.