In short, Georgia's absolute dominance of Vanderbilt was the most complete game I've seen the Dawgs play in a long time. While Vanderbilt came in talking about a "culture change," what they got was a lesson in the traditional culture of the SEC.
What ostensibly began with a kerfuffle following the 2011 game resulted in a Georgia team that came out attacking in all phases of the game. Long passes, long runs, and a relentless pass rush resulted in an absolutely beautiful dismantling of the Commodores. Should you feel moved to do so, you should treat yourself to this display again and again:
While the Georgia highlights from this game are almost too many to mention, Vanderbilt's highlights consisted of a few decent runs, a couple of long passes, and a 30 yard field goal just before halftime. That should really tell you all you need to know about this game, but for the sake of basking in the glow of this victory we'll go a little deeper.
In the previous posts in this series, the Dawg Sports staff has given you a rundown of the back and forth of each game. But as there wasn't really any back and forth in this contest, I thought I'd just give you a scoring summary... plus, I really like how this turns out visually:
GEORGIA - Gurley Run, Gurley, Murray Pass, Murray, Gurley, Muray, Gurley.... TD
GEORGIA - Gurley, Gurley, Murray, Murray, Murray, Marshall Run, Marshall.... TD
END OF Q1
GEORGIA - Gurley, Gurley, Murray, Gurley, Murray, Murray to King.... TD
GEORGIA - Marshall, Marshall, Murray, Marshall, Marshall, Murray, Malcome Run, Murray, Malcome, Murray, Marshall, Murray Run.... TD
VANDERBILT - Rodgers Pass, Rodgers, Rodgers, Rodgers, Rodgers, Rodgers, Rodgers.... FG
HALFTIME -- UGA 27 VANDY 3
GEORGIA - Gurley, Mitchell Run, Gurley, Murray, Marshall, Murray, Gurley, Murray, Murray to Brown.... TD
GEORGIA - Murray, Marshall, Marshall.... TD
GEORGIA - Gurley, Murray, Gurley.... TD
END OF Q3
END OF GAME -- UGA 48 VANDY 3
It has such a nice flow to it. So much variety! So much balance! But in a good way! Its almost as if Mike Bobo found his inner offensive coordinator.
And that defense! My God, that defense!
The offense could have hung more than 50 on them and I'm sure the defense would have preferred the shutout, but its hard to complain about the type of performance we're always clamoring for. And while the team performance was outstanding, there were certainly many individuals deserving of accolades.
Unsurprisingly, Aaron Murray performed admirably against the Vanderbilt defense. Murray picked apart the secondary, completing his first 12 passes. On the stat sheet, Murray's performance isn't all that impressive by his standards (just 250 yards with 2 touchdowns through the air and another on the ground -- and isn't it nice to be able to say that this stat line isn't up to his normal performance?). But what set Murray apart in this game was his efficiency and command of the game as he completed 75% of his passes.
The running game was nothing short of outstanding. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall continued their progression toward becoming the hybrid beast "Gurshall," amassing over 300 yards on the ground (with a little help from Boo Malcome) to go with 4 touchdowns. Both backs averaged over 8 yards per carry and tore off some long runs with Marshall's 56 yard TD being the longest. But my favorite run of the night had to be Gurley driving the final nail into Vanderbilt's already nail-riddled coffin:
Marlon Brown really deserves special recognition for this game as well. Throughout his career, Brown has faced a lot of ups and downs, but he really brought it against teams from his home state. Murray predictably spread the ball around, but Brown was certainly his favorite target against the Commodores. When it was all over, Brown had caught 5 passes for 114 yards, including a 58 yard reception.
And while I don't think anything needs to be said about the defense (after all giving up 3 points sort of speaks for itself), I will note that they proved pretty conclusively that Jordan Rodgers is not Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers was sacked 3 times and, with the exception of a series of passes culminating in Vanderbilt's field goal, could never get much of anything going against the Georgia secondary. The Dawgs also held Vandy's rushing attack to just over 100 yards in the game. But again, the 3 points sort of speaks for itself and was every bit the statement Grantham wanted it to be.
Overall, September 22nd was a damn good day to be a Georgia Bulldog. It was a day of joy and celebration. As such, I thought I'd also take a moment to share some of celebratory comments from our Dawg Sports commentariat on that joyous occasion:
So just remember all the good times we had in a couple of days when we revisit the South Carolina game. That one wasn't quite as much fun. But for this one glorious evening in September, we were on top of the world.
Until next time... GO DAWGS!!!