This week Georgia tries to rebound from their 41-26 loss to Missouri, when they take on Vanderbilt in Nashville. This most recent loss now gives the Bulldogs two on the season, with six regular season games left on the schedule.
To some fans this now marks another season of Georgia not being able to reach the national championship game. So, they’d call that another lost season under head coach Mark Richt. However, Georgia’s players and coaches are not looking at 2013 in the same way. One of which is quarterback Aaron Murray.
“It’s still very early in the season for people to start making judgments about this team,” Murray said. “Go 10-2 with our schedule, and be able to still compete for an SEC Championship if that happens, I still think that’s a great year.”
With two losses in the regular season, a win in the SEC Championship Game against likely Alabama or LSU would probably mean another trip for this program to the Sugar Bowl. That said, like the last two years the Bulldogs still need losses from other teams to make their way back to Atlanta. They would need Missouri to lose two SEC games the rest of the season and in the process need to go undefeated the rest of the way to make this happen. Not out of the question now, when you factor in Mizzou will have to play the next few weeks without quarterback James Franklin and face Florida, South Carolina, plus Tennessee at home.
Georgia now gets ready for a Vanderbilt squad that played them tough the last time in Nashville. That game ended with UGA winning 33-28 in 2011. Mark Richt is preparing himself for another closely contested game again this year.
“I’m expecting the fact that’s all we’ve had this year, we’ll have another one like that,” Richt said. “So Georgia fans, Mom get ready… It’s going to be a tough game.”
Many point to the fact the Georgia defense this season has not been playing well at times and giving up huge yardage and scores through these first six games. With that being the case, Richt says the young defense still remains positive about the rest of the season.
“We can’t lose any hope or faith,” Richt said. “There’s enough progress going on that I feel very comfortable that we’re moving in the right direction with a lot of pups.”
As currently constructed, the Georgia defense has six out of 11 players on this defense listed as starters in their freshman or sophomore seasons. That being the case, this defense is currently giving up 399 yards of total offense a game and about 34 points a game. Add to this, the fact the team has also allowed teams to convert about 44 percent of their 3rd downs this season.
Vanderbilt is coming into this game averaging 425 yards of total offense and averaging the same amount of point Georgia is giving up on average. The Commodores have been helped in large part by senior wide receiver Jordan Matthews and Mark Richt is fully aware of the ability he possesses on the field.
“(He’s) one of the best receivers to ever play in the Southeastern Conference,” Richt said.
Matthews is currently at 2,991 career receiving yards and Richt says that he needs 102 yards to tie former Bulldogs receiver Terrence Edwards’s career yards record in the SEC.
The Bulldogs could also be heading into Saturday afternoon’s game without running back Todd Gurley, as he did not practice with the team on Tuesday trying to come back from his sprained ankle. Kickoff for Saturday afternoon’s game is at 12:10 and it will be broadcast on CBS.