Gurley might be back on Saturday, giving UGA at least RB/WR who was a projected starter at the beginning of the season. - Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
Vanderbilt hasn't beaten Georgia since 2006, but both teams are coming off of tough losses to Missouri. How do the Bulldogs match up with the Commodores?
The School: The University of Georgia
Record: 4-2 (12-2 in 2012)
Ranking: 15th in the AP poll and 16st in the Coaches'. The formulas have them rated 14th in the Real Time RPI and 24th in Warren Nolan's rankings.
Location: Athens, Georgia.
Conference: The ESS-EEE-CEE. Formerly the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
All-time vs. Vanderbilt: 53-18-2.
In the Last 10 Years vs. Vanderbilt: 9-1. The 'Dawgs have won six straight games against the Commodores by a combined 130 points.
The Last Time We Saw These Guys: Todd Grantham stepped up his hate for the Commodores by holding Vandy to just three points in a UGA win. Bob Shoop did almost as well, limiting the Bulldogs to only 48. This was Vanderbilt's worst loss in the James Franklin era.
Most Potent Offensive Threat: That one guy who isn't injured - Aaron Murray. Vanderbilt has the good fortune to host a very talented Georgia team that is in the midst of a horrible string of injuries. Todd Gurley, who ripped Vandy for 130 yards last season as a freshman, is questionable for Saturday's game with a sprained ankle. His backup, Keith Marshall, is out for the year thanks to an ACL tear. So is Justin Scott-Wesley, who led the team in receiving yards before leaving the Bulldogs' win over Tennessee with his knee injury.
That leaves Murray, who is averaging 288 passing yards in his career against the Commodores and possesses a stellar 7:1 TD:INT ratio. He's not the kind of mobile quarterback who can give this team fits, but he's a smart, strong-armed player who has proven that he can out-play some very tough Vanderbilt secondaries during his time with the Bulldogs.
Most Potent Defensive Threat: Ray Drew. Georgia's junior defensive end has turned up the heat lately, notching five sacks in his last three games - all against SEC opponents. He'll have the advantage to add to that total against a Commodore offensive line that has failed to live up to preseason expectations. Drew is a strong, athletic end who can get to the backfield in a hurry, and the 'Dores will have their hands full dealing with him in the trenches on Saturday.
Matchup to Watch: Jordan Matthews versus the Georgia secondary. UGA's safeties and cornerbacks have been a trouble area for the Bulldogs this season, and that poses an opportunity for a Vandy team that has had only one consistent offensive threat this season. Matthews, an All-American and potential first-round pick in 2014's NFL Draft, has averaged 118 yards per game through the air. Last week, L'Damian Washington hung 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the 'Dawgs. If Vandy's senior leader can replicate that kind of performance then the Commodores will have a chance to take UGA into deep waters on Saturday.
Interesting Fact: Vanderbilt football's scooter club membership is likely down now that ringleader Jordan Rodgers has graduated, but that is probably something that Ray Drew appreciates. Drew is one of three UGA football players to suffer a scooter-related injury in recent years. He sprained his shoulder in the summer before his freshman season, but still returned to the field in 2011 to tally his first collegiate (half) sack against Vanderbilt that fall.
Bonus Fact!: The college football industry is one of the few workplaces in America where you can nearly come to blows with a colleague, never apologize for it, and walk away with greater job security than when you started. Do not try this at your office job.
If Georgia wins, we: continue to hate Todd Grantham. Grantham has been the clear winner of his feud with James Franklin so far, and all he's had to do is point at the scoreboard in each of UGA's wins over Vandy since that 2011 incident. Somehow, that's only made me hate him more, as I've come to expect nothing but red-faced, neck vein-popping rage from the burly coordinator and he's failed to deliver that. Without wins to stoke this SEC East rivalry, Commodore fans might have to continue hating Grantham, potentially past the realm of reason.