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Georgia traveled to Nashville and defeated Vanderbilt 45-14 on Saturday. For the first time this season, the Bulldogs were led to victory by the offense — specifically the ground game — and not the defense. Here are Georgia’s top five players from the win over the Commodores.
1. The offensive line — Yeah, the whole thing. Pick a player from this group’s starting five, and he had a great game. Georgia averaged nearly 8 yards per run thanks the line. Chubb and Michel got all the headlines, but it was the line that made those headlines possible. At this point, there’s no question the line is the most improved unit on the team.
Replacement ILBs ‘OK’ vs. Vanderbilt
As mentioned, Georgia was without two of its best inside linebackers against Vanderbilt. Coach Kirby Smart has yet to give an update on the injury status of Carter, while Patrick will miss the next three games because of his marijuana arrest. Which means Georgia will have to make due with a makeshift group of linebackers, in some form, for at least another month.
Against Vanderbilt, Juwan Taylor and Monty Rice worked to fill the gaps left by Carter and Patrick, with Tae Crowder getting some run as well. In his postgame press conference, Smart said he wasn’t ready to name a new starter from the group of replacements. From Seth Emerson of DawgNation:
“They played OK. I’m not ready to name a permanent starter,” Smart said. “We have some competition going on there. I think both of those kids had some anxiety. I thought Monty made some plays in the game. He’s such a good kid and wants to play well so bad. He’s playing near his hometown up here. He and Juwan both, I was proud of the way they handled it. But we can do better.”
The man’s got jokes
If you were still thinking about the commitment of 5-star quarterback Justin Fields in the midst and aftermath of the win over Vanderbilt, you weren’t the only one. Smart also still had the Harrison High School signal-caller on his mind and gave a little dig to a reporter for Atlanta’s Fox 5, which flew a helicopter over Fields’ announcement ceremony since media wasn’t allowed. From Emerson:
Smart then spent much of his postgame press conference issuing wise-cracks. Like when a microphone for Atlanta’s Fox 5 began slipping on the podium. As a representative from that station, which a day earlier had flown a helicopter over Harrison High School for the Justin Fields announcement, Smart paused as he began to smile.
“Figured y’all were still over at Harrison,” Smart said.
He loves me, he loves me not
Here’s a story I don’t know what to make of. Mark Fox and Georgia hoops received a commitment from 4-star Class of 2018 small forward Landers Nolley on Saturday, only for Nolley to reverse course and de-commit on Sunday.
Recruiting is weird, man.
Dawgs in the polls