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Curtis Compton / AJC
Georgia tailback James Cook and the Bulldogs are expected to play their final regular season game at noon on Saturday in Sanford Stadium against Vanderbilt.

Georgia football opens as monstrous favorite over Vanderbilt

ATHENS — Georgia football opened as a 40-point favorite over Vanderbilt, the team’s biggest line of the season.

The line quickly fell to 35 points in some Las Vegas books, per VegasInsider.com.

Coach Kirby Smart has not beaten a team by 40 points or more this season, choosing to run the ball heavily in the fourth quarters of games UGA holds a sizable lead.

Georgia ran the ball 12 out of 14 snaps in the fourth quarter of its 49-14 win last Saturday, and at South Carolina two weeks ago, ran the ball 13 out of 14 snaps in the final quarter.

The only SEC game Smart has won by 40 or more points was in 2017, when the Bulldogs avenged a loss from the season before at Tennessee by beating the Vols 41-0. Smart ran the ball almost exclusively in the fourth quarter of that game in Knoxville, too, with 13 runs and one pass.

These No. 9-ranked Bulldogs (7-2) and the winless Commodores (0-9) have a legacy of sorts they are playing for in their noon (TV: SEC Network) scheduled game at Sanford Stadium.

The teams were originally scheduled to meet on Dec. 5 in what was supposed to be the season finale for both programs.

But Vandy pulled out on that Friday, Dec. 4, after several UGA parents had traveled into town for the scheduled Senior Day activities.

The Commodores had COVID-19 concerns and players quitting, per multiple reports.

UGA athletic director Greg McGarity made his feelings of disappointment known after the game was pushed back two weeks to next Saturday.

RELATED: Greg McGarity expresses anger over last-minute cancellation

Georgia needs two more wins to become the winningest class in school history, while Vanderbilt is trying to avoid becoming the first SEC team to fail to complete a season.

Both teams played games that had been postponed against other programs last Saturday.

The Commodores were down to 49 scholarship players in their 42-17 home loss to Tennessee.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 49-14 road win at Missouri that saw Coach Kirby Smart’s team enjoy its best performance of offense and defense of the season.

Other SEC Games

Texas A&M (-14) at Tennessee, Noon, ESPN

Missouri (-1) at Mississippi State, 3:30 p.m., SEC alternate

Ole Miss at LSU (-4), 3:30 p.m. SEC Network

Alabama (-14) vs. Florida, SEC Championship Game, 8 p.m. CBS

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