Vanderbilt shuts down run game

Nick Chubb rushed for only 40 yards on 16 carries in Georgia's loss to Vanderbilt.

ATHENS — The way tight end Jeb Blazevich sees it, Georgia should be able to run on any team.

Vanderbilt doesn’t agree after the Commodores shut down Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and the rest of the Bulldogs Saturday.

“Take nothing away from them, but the way we look at it, if we execute on offense, it doesn’t matter who the defense is, they can’t stop us,” Blazevich said. “And today, they stopped us because we didn’t execute.”

Georgia ran for a season-low 75 yards — six days after pounding South Carolina for a season-high 326 yards on the ground — a dominating defensive performance that culminated on the Bulldogs’ final offensive play.

Instead of handing the ball to Chubb or Michel or freshman Brian Herrien on fourth-and-1, quarterback Jacob Eason pitched it to receiver Isaiah McKenzie.

Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham showed blitz, but sprinted to the outside and pulled McKenzie down for no gain.

“We have confidence in ourselves. It’s just 1 yard, but we weren’t able to get it,” Chubb said.

Georgia offensive tackle Tyler Catalina said: “We don’t get to make those (play call) decisions. Whatever (offensive coordinator Jim) Chaney called, we’re with. As an offense, we have confidence in any play. We believe we’re going to succeed, no matter what the play is. We just have to execute. We got out-executed today.”

Vanderbilt’s plan was evident from the start.

The Commodores often lined up seven or eight defenders near the line of scrimmage and dared Georgia to run, which the Bulldogs did 35 times for an average of 2.1 yards an attempt.

“Those running backs are two of the best running backs in terms of a one-two tandem that we’ve faced, but again, our guys accepted the challenge,” Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said. “I put the challenge before them and they accepted it.”

Cunningham had 2.5 of Vanderbilt’s 9.5 tackles for loss.

“They had a lot of guys stacked in the box,” Chubb said. “They see any kind of run, they came down. It’s kind of hard to run in there.”

And even when Eason scrambled for 20 yards and a first down in the fourth quarter — which would have been Georgia’s longest run of the game — center Brandon Kublanow was called for holding.

Georgia ended up punting to end that drive.

“They came out and whipped us,” Catalina said. “They just loaded the box and blitzed a lot. They knew our game plan was going to run the ball after last week. They just stuffed us.”

 

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