NASHVILLE — Greetings from Vanderbilt Stadium. It is an absolutely gorgeous day here in the Music City. Expected high is 73 degrees, and the early-week predictions of rain have decreased from 50 percent down to 0 percent, according to weather.com.
So there shouldn’t be any “cold and wet,” as the Georgia Bulldogs have often encountered here. Those were the conditions when they lost 31-27 here in 2013.
There actually has been a good bit of buzz generated for today’s game. For the first time in nearly two decades, CBS has designated a Vanderbilt home game for its “SEC on CBS Game of the Week.” So the network will be carrying the game for its national broadcast. Also, “SEC Nation,” the SEC Network’s version of ESPN’s College GameDay, set up its show on The Commons this morning in the middle of the Vanderbilt campus.
As you may have also heard, the Commodores also are breaking out their new alternative “Deep Water” alternate uniforms. They’re kind of a light blueish gray. That enabled the Bulldogs to break out their traditional Georgia red home uniforms, which they always do whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Meanwhile, apparently Georgia fans like the idea of playing Vanderbilt up here early in the season. I’m here to tell you, the Bulldog Nation is out in full force. I wouldn’t be surprised if they out-number the home team today.
OK, a few things to keep an eye on today:
- Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert will be making his first start in an SEC game today. Vandy has a pretty good defense and one that will likely present him with a lot more blitzes, twists and disguised coverages. So we should learn a lot more about him and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
- As Caitlyn Stroh detailed earlier this morning, tailback Keith Marshall and receiver Malcolm Mitchell will be playing at Vanderbilt Stadium for the first time in their careers. Injuries kept them out of the 2013 debacle.
- Senior outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins can move past Greg “Muddy” Waters into sole possession of 10th on Georgia’s all-time chart with a quarterback sack today. He’s already the SEC’s active leader in career sacks and tackles for loss.
- It could be tough for Jenkins to get as the Commodores are piloted by Johnny McCrary, an elusive quarterback who prepped at Decatur’s Cedar Grove High School.
- McCrary is one of 18 Georgians who will suit up for Vanderbilt today. That’s more players than they have from any other state, including Tennessee (17).
- It’s a player from Florida who is the most exciting to watch for the Commodores. Tailback Ralph Webb has switched to No. 7 after wearing number 26 to rush for 907 yards as a freshman last season. He had 77 yards versus the Bulldogs in Athens last year.
- Receiver/kick returner Isaiah McKenzie (hamstring), fullback Christian Payne (leg) and linebacker Reggie Carter (shoulder) all made the trip as expected and should play. Whether McKenzie returns kicks will be interesting to see.