|9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET4:00 PM GMT12:00 AM 北京时间9:00 AM MST11:00 AM EST, Oct. 7, 2017|
Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee Attendance: 36,282
No. 5 Georgia tries to stay hot at Vanderbilt
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 5 Georgia, coming off two impressive Southeastern Conference blowout victories, has energized a fan base that is openly starting to speak of challenging top-ranked Alabama in a potential conference title game.
It seems as of the Georgia players are feeling and hearing it, too.
"I feel like we're on the path to domination, but it doesn't stop now," Georgia outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter said.
"We've got to keep working. It's easy to listen to everybody in the media and everybody around Athens because they see what's going on, and they love it. It's the job of the leaders and the coaches to keep us focused and make sure everybody's working hard to keep on the same path we've been on."
The Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0 SEC) will try to keep their positive vibe when they visit Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-2) on Saturday. They have pounded Mississippi State (31-3) and Tennessee (41-0) in the past two weeks.
"Humility is a week away," said Georgia coach Kirby Smart.
Certainly, this week's game is a reminder of that. The Commodores stunned Georgia last season when All-American linebacker Zach Cunningham corralled Isaiah McKenzie on fourth-and-1 in the game's final minutes, preserving a 17-16 win.
Both Cunningham and McKenzie have moved on, but Smart opened Monday's press conference with a brief look back to what the Commodores and coach Derek Mason did to the Bulldogs last year.
"Derek does a really good job with his team, and especially did a tremendous job last year against us in dominating and controlling the game up front with their defensive line," he said.
That will be a much bigger challenge for the Commodores this year.
After leading the country in scoring defense and total defense through three weeks of the season, Vanderbilt had poor defensive performances against Alabama and Florida, during which it combined to allow 97 points and 1,144 yards of total offense.
It will be Vandy's fourth consecutive game against a ranked opponent. The Commodores started that stretch with a 14-7 win over Kansas State before things got tough, but Mason isn't asking anyone to feel sorry for Vanderbilt.
"The first three weeks (of the season) went the way we wanted them to, then, after that, we got hit. ... We know it's a tough stretch, but when you start excusing, OK, because of a tough stretch of football, that sort of defeats who you're working to be," Mason said.
"For us, we don't excuse it. We get back to work and fix what needs to be fixed."
Vanderbilt has struggled against the run and the pass in both those games. It's safe to say the Commodores can expect a steady dose of Georgia running back Nick Chubb (480 yards, 6.4 yards per carry, six touchdowns), the co-SEC Player of the Week following his 109-yard game against Tennessee.
With the Commodores averaging 2.9 yards per rush, Vanderbilt's best bet for an upset seems to be getting a big game from quarterback Kyle Shurmur. The junior has completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 985 yards, with 11 touchdowns and one interception.
Shurmur has done a terrific job of avoiding turnovers; he's not fumbled all season, and his one interception came on a ball that a receiver tipped to a defensive back.
"First of all, (Shurmur) is very intelligent and does a great job with their offense. He will be the best pure passing quarterback that we have played against," Smart said. "He does a really good job of putting them in the right play. You know he looks at the right things. He reads the coverages. He puts the ball where it is supposed to be thrown and does a really good job of doing that."
It won't be so easy against Georgia.
Georgia allowed Mississippi State and Tennessee to complete just 26 of 56 passes for 183 yards, with no touchdowns and four interceptions.
Smart has tried to create some mystery as to whether the Bulldogs will continue to start true freshman Jake Frohm at quarterback. The other option is last year's starter, Jacob Eason, who began this year as the starter before getting hurt.
Eason saw mop-up duty against Tennessee, but Mason isn't buying Smart's line that there's a decision to be made.
"I believe Frohm is the guy. I believe that Eason is an extremely talented quarterback, but that's up to Kirby who he decides to go with," Mason said on Tuesday. "I mean, he's not fooling me, if that's what we think we're doing here. Frohm's won ball games."
Updated October 3, 2017