No. 3 Georgia routs Vanderbilt 30-6 in SEC road opener

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Jake Fromm threw for 156 yards and a touchdown, and third-ranked Georgia opened the season Saturday night routing Vanderbilt 30-6.

The Bulldogs won their 20th opener in 23 seasons and stayed perfect to kick off coach Kirby Smart’s fourth season. They also easily won their 14th straight against the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division in their first league game to open a season since 1995.

It sure didn’t feel like a road trip with fans taking advantage of a holiday weekend to paint the stadium Georgia red. The Bulldogs rewarded them by scoring a touchdown on their first three possessions, giving the fans plenty to start celebrating early.

D’Andre Swift ran 16 times for 149 yards, and Brian Herrien added 65 and a TD run as the Bulldogs rolled up 326 yards rushing. Georgia finished with a 481-225 edge in total offense, and the Bulldogs also had two sacks and recovered a fumble.

Vanderbilt debuted a new starting quarterback in Riley Neal, a graduate transfer from Ball State, along with new offensive coordinator Gerry Gdowski. The Commodores also had Ke’Shawn Vaughn, the SEC’s top returning rusher who ran for 1,244 yards last season, and the league’s top returning receiver in Kalija Lipscomb.

But the Commodores were without three starters, including two on the offensive line with both left tackle Devin Cochran and left guard Saige Young out with injuries. That left Neal with little time to throw against a Georgia defense that returned seven starters on a unit that was 15th nationally giving up just 19.2 points a game last season.

Neal finished 15 of 25 for 85 yards before being replaced by Deuce Wallace for the final possession. Vaughn was held to 74 yards on 15 carries.

Vanderbilt managed only a pair of field goals by Ryley Guay of 26 and 46 yards.

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