Georgia climbs to No. 5 in the AP poll (No. 6 in the Coaches poll) after a resounding 41-0 win over Tennessee in Knoxville last Saturday afternoon. The win over the Volunteers brings the Bulldogs to 5-0 on the season and was the 800th all-time win for for the program. Georgia is in its 124th season and now have a record of 800-418-54. The Bulldogs rank 11th nationally in all-time victories amongst current FCS programs. The Bulldogs will return again to the state of Tennessee on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-2). The 5-0 start for the Bulldogs is the first 5-0 start for Georgia since 2012. Georgia’s best start in recent history came during the 2005 season when the Bulldogs jumped out to a 7-0 start. Georgia won the SEC title over LSU that season and finished 10-3.
The Bulldogs hold a 55-20-2 lead in the all-time series with the Commodores dating back to 1893. Georgia has won 11 of last 12 meetings in Nashville, including the Bulldogs’ 31-14 victory in Vanderbilt Stadium in 2015. In fact, Georgia is 19-3 over the teams’ last 22 matchups. However, the Commodores defeated Georgia 17-16 in Athens last season marking the first Vanderbilt win in Athens since 2006.
Vanderbilt University is located in Nashville, TN, and has an enrollment of approximately 12,500 students (lowest enrollment of any SEC team). Vanderbilt is coached by Derek Mason (16-26), who is in his fourth season as head coach of Vanderbilt. The Commodores return 16 starters from a 2016 that ended the season 6-7 with a loss to North Carolina State in the Independence Bowl. Despite the 6-7 record, the 2016 did include some highlights for the Commodores as they defeated Georgia in Athens and beat Tennessee in Nashville.
The Commodores offense is led by senior running back Ralph Webb. Webb is Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher and is on his way to becoming the SEC’s all-time leader in rush attempts. Webb has yet to get on track in 2017 with 198 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns entering the game; however, Webb has proven that he is a very good back and is more than capable of turning it on against the Bulldogs. The signal-caller for the Commodores is junior Kyle Shurmur. Shurmur enters the game with an outstanding TD/INT ratio of 11/1.
Currently Vegas has the Bulldogs as a 18 point favorite with a total of 41.