Third-ranked Georgia jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 30-6 victory over Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs gave the Commodores fits with their size and speed. Georgia running back D’Andre Swift rushed 16 times for 149 yards, leading a UGA ground attack that averaged 8.1 yards per carry.
UGA padded its 15-point halftime lead with three second-half field goals from kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.
Vandy, a 21-point underdog, played without a pair of offensive line starters, including left tackle Devin Cochran. That resulted in four first-time offensive line starters — including right guard Dan Dawkins and right guard Tyler Steen, neither of whom had a snap of experience coming in — and Cole Clemens, expected to start at guard, getting his first career tackle reps as Cochran’s replacement.
Ball State graduate transfer quarterback Riley Neal started his first game for the Commodores, going 14-of-25 for just 85 yards. He was unable to get the ball downfield to All-America tight end Jared Pinkney (two catches, 11 yards) and first-team All-Southeastern Conference wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb (three catches, 8 yards).
The Bulldogs, who had about 80 percent of the fans in attendance despite being the road team, drove 75 yards in eight plays as quarterback Jake Fromm found wide receiver Demetris Robertson with a 3-yard touchdown to start the game.
After a Commodores punt, Georgia strolled 89 yards in 10 plays before running back James Cook ran left for an 18-yard touchdown. Blankenship’s point-after made it 14-0 with 56 seconds left in the first quarter.
Running back Brian Herrien’s 1-yard run with 8:01 left in the second quarter helped Georgia to a 21-0 lead.
Vandy got a pair of field goals from kicker Ryley Guay in the final 2:25 to make it 21-6 at the half.
The Bulldogs averaged 8.3 yards per play in the first half, and didn’t face their second third-down situation until under two minutes left in the half.
—Field Level Media