Bulldogs cruise to victory over the Commodores

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Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) passes as Vanderbilt cornerback Ryan McCord (25) ties to get to him during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs started fast and cruised to a 62-0 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores in front of 32,178 fans at Vanderbilt Stadium and an SEC Network nationally televised audience on Saturday afternoon.
 
Georgia (4-0, 2-0 SEC) tallied 532 yards of offense: 291 passing and 241 rushing. Junior tailback Zamir White led the Bulldogs’ runners with 48 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.
 
Redshirt junior quarterback JT Daniels finished 9-for-10 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns before senior quarterback Stetson Bennett relieved him in the second quarter. Bennett finished 11-for-15 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown, while freshman tight end Brock Bowers led the team with four receptions for 69 yards and three touchdowns – one rushing and two receiving.
 
On the defensive front, the Bulldogs held the Commodores (1-3, 0-1 SEC) to just 77 yards of total offense, including only 53 on the ground. The Bulldogs also racked up two interceptions, a sack, and four tackles for loss. Senior outside linebacker Robert Beall led all tacklers with three solo stops, while a slew of Bulldogs totaled three tackles.
 
“I was proud at how fast the guys started,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “I’m really proud of our fan base. I thought the turnout was incredible, as it normally is when we come up here. Our guys came out here and started fast. That was the goal all week… We talked about starting fast and playing to our standard.”
 
“Tough atmosphere to play in early on. From warm-ups throughout. We talked about it being early, not letting it be an excuse. If you’re going to be elite as a team, you have to be elite all the time. Not some of the time. That is not how elite teams play. Our guys embraced that and I’m proud of them,” Smart said.
 
After winning the coin toss and defering to the second half, the Georgia defense immediately made their presence known by forcing back-to-back Vanderbilt three-and-outs. On offense, the Bulldogs made quick work. Bowers, a native of Napa, Calif., took an end-around for a 12-yard touchdown before catching a 25-yard touchdown pass on the next Georgia drive. 
 
Back-to-back Commodore turnovers led to the Bulldogs’ next two scoring drives. First junior Jaylen Johnson forced a fumble on kickoff, which led to White punching one in from the goal line. On the very next play from scrimmage, senior defensive back Christopher Smith recorded his second interception of the year. Two plays later, Daniels found redshirt-freshman Ladd McConkey for a 12-yard touchdown pass, his first career score.
 
“It felt good to get my first touchdown,” said McConkey. “At the end of the day, the win is all that matters. It was good to have some individual (accomplishments), but as long as we win that is my biggest thing.”
 
After forcing yet another Vanderbilt three-and-out, McConkey found the end zone again. This time on a 24-yard end-around run to give the Bulldogs a 35-0 lead in the first quarter. Georgia continued to dominate and cruised to a 62-0 win, in the two teams’ first meeting since 2019. The Bulldogs move to 59-20-2 all-time against the Commodores after today’s win.
 
“The vibe on the sideline is always positive, but we still treat every play likes it’s 0-0,” said junior outside linebacker Nolan Smith. “We try to always cause more turnovers. We have a standard here. We always try to meet that standard every game…We always say that there is no drop-off. If you’re on the field, you’re a starter… We say no one gets in our end zone, and that’s the standard for everybody.”
 
Next up, Georgia returns to Athens to host No. 16 Arkansas (3-0, 0-0 SEC) next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. The game will broadcast on ESPN

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