Vanderbilt will face their toughest test of the 2012 season this weekend when they travel to Athens to play the fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night. The Commodores will enter the game looking to build off a 59-point blowout win over Presbyterian, but they haven't been so lucky against BCS opponents. The 'Dores had their offense squelched by South Carolina and Northwestern in back-to-back losses in their first two weeks.
As a result, oddsmakers aren't giving Vanderbilt much of a chance against Mark Richt's squad. The Bulldogs are 16 point favorites in Vegas as of Thursday, and that line doesn't look like it will be moving much in Vandy's favor. Part of the reason for that is due to the team's instability at quarterback. The 'Dores will have to choose between Jordan Rodgers and Austyn Carta-Samuels behind center after Rodgers's rough start gave way for the Wyoming transfer last week.
Georgia has been rolling through their opponents so far in 2012, using big second-half bursts to win by an average of 26.3 points per game. What can the Commodores expect when they face a fired-up Bulldog team on Saturday night? I established a correspondence with our friend Mr. Sanchez over at Dawg Sports, and he helped shed some light on this weekend's showdown. Also, he may be one of the rare few writers out there that has as profound a love for Frisky Dingo as I do. Anyway, for all things Vanderbilt-Georgia from an Athens perspective, don't forget to swing by Dawg Sports.
Mr. Sanchez's answers are below in red:
1. Georgia is off to a hot start, scoring more than 47 points per game behind Aaron Murray's dynamic work at quarterback. However, the Bulldogs passing strength will match up with one of Vandy's best units thanks to the Dores' stout defensive backs. What can the Vanderbilt secondary expect from the UGA passing attack, and how do you think Mark Richt will work to stretch the field against a Commodore secondary that has only allowed only 100 passing yards per game in 2012?
Honestly, I see some offensive struggles, a defensive score, and Georgia pulling away late with a 24-10 victory. But the homer in me really, really loves this defense, and thinks they will want to prove something leading to a score of 31-0.