ATHENS — Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation that UGA is “doing our due diligence” in regard to trying to find a team to replace Vanderbilt on the schedule.
One issue could be that many football programs typically hold their end of season meetings after concluding their regular season and release the players.
The SEC office would have to approve any alternative game.
The Commodores backed out of Saturday’s schedule game, citing a lack of sufficient players. Vanderbilt held its Senior Day and played against Tennessee on Saturday with 49 scholarship players.
Should Kirby Smart run up the score on Vanderbilt next season for canceling twice on #Georgia Senior Day
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) December 14, 2020
The SEC office released a statement on the cancellation.
SEC OFFICIAL STATEMENT
The Vanderbilt at Georgia football game of December 19 has been canceled due to the Vanderbilt football squad size and position availability falling below roster minimum requirements, consistent with Southeastern Conference COVID-19 protocols. The Vanderbilt at Georgia game is declared a no-contest.
It’s the fourth time this season the Georgia football schedule has been altered on account of another team’s inability to manage its roster with players opting out and COVID-19.
The SEC league office forced UGA to move its game with Kentucky from Oct. 24 to Oct. 31 on account of the two weeks Florida took off midseason on account of its roster issues.
Georgia’s game with Missouri was moved from Nov. 14 to Dec. 12 on account of the Tigers’ issue.
The Bulldogs’ were originally supposed to play Vanderbilt on Dec. 5 but the Commodores’ backed out of the game, too.
According to Yahoo Sports reporter Pete Thamel, UGA is looking for an opponent to play on Saturday for the Bulldogs’ Senior Day.
DawgNation reported earlier on Monday the Vanderbilt game on Dec. 19 was in doubt.
All of the other SEC teams with remaining games left to be played are already scheduled.
Going outside the conference to find an opponent for a Saturday game is challenging because of the timeline.
The bowl selections take place on Sunday, seemingly eliminating the chance to play a game on Sunday or Monday.
The No. 9-ranked Bulldogs (7-2) have played just three home games this season and six away from Sanford Stadium.
The UGA seniors need two more wins to become the winningest class in school history.
Coach Kirby Smart said at noon on Monday he was still optimistic that the game could be played.
“They were able to play last week against Tennessee,” Smart said, “and we are looking forward to getting our seniors out there for one last home game.”
Commodores freshman quarterback Ken Seals said he was proud of his teammates for coming back together to play Tennessee last Saturday.
“I think the guys that we have here were the guys that wanted to finish what we started and wanted to end this thing the right way,” Seals told VUCommodores.com
‘We’re here because we still have an opportunity to make everything worth it. We can go out and everything that we’ve had to deal with, all the difficulties and obstacles that we’ve faced and everything that we’ve lost as a team, we still have chances to go out and make these last couple games worth it and make all of it worth it.’
“I think the guys that we have here now were determined and motivated to go do that. I’m proud of all the guys who were here playing with me today.”