Georgia football demoralized Vanderbilt on Saturday and cruised to a 7-0 record. The Dawgs beat the Commodores 55-0, and all three phases of the ball were almost flawless. There was very little to critique on this game, which Georgia needed ahead of the bye week.
The Dawgs pitched its second shutout of the season and really shut down the Vanderbilt offense. This game was a great confidence booster for the Dawgs ahead of the bye week.
After rewatching the game, it was clear that Georgia dominated from the time it stepped onto the field until it heard that final whistle. The Dawgs gained some confidence back after this game, and before anyone suggests that Vandy isn’t a formidable opponent — they’re in the SEC, and Georgia shows all its opponents respect.
1. The Georgia football quarterbacks were nearly perfect
Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett looked solid against the Commodores, but so did his backup, Carson Beck. Both quarterbacks did their jobs well on Saturday and deserve praise for it. Together they racked up 387 passing yards and 22 rushing yards.
Bennett recorded 24-of-30 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Beck went 8-of-11 for 98 yards and two scores as well. They both looked in the zone, and it was great to see the two of them play that well. Bennett needed to regain that confidence after a couple of tough weeks, but what fans saw on Saturday tells us he is getting back to himself just in time.
Beck did a fantastic job when he came into the game. Watching him tuck it and run when he needed to instead of taking the sack was such a good sign. Beck is growing up and getting better. Those eight completions he had were sharp. Even though the touchdown to Kearis Jackson got called back, that dart Beck threw was impressive.
This game was the first time — personally — Beck impressed me and showed me he could run Georgia’s offense. Granted, my opinion on that matter does not mean much, but seeing him look confident with the offense was good.
Give these two their credit — Georgia found a way to score 55 points and got the job done. Georgia’s offense scored on seven of eight drives because these two were able to do their job at an elite level. Both quarterbacks are fierce competitors, and I’m glad the Dawgs have them.
2. Georgia football tight end Darnell Washington is not human
Darnell Washington has blossomed, and it’s something all Georgia fans should love to see. The 6-7 and 270-pound tight end led the Dawgs in receiving against the Commodores. Washington recorded four catches for 78 yards, including an incredible 34-yard one-handed snag that made all our jaws drop.
No one knows what Washington is, but he isn’t human. Is he a government project or an alien? Regardless, Georgia is blessed to have someone like him on the team. He continues to get better each week and prove himself. Georgia already has a stout tight end room with Brock Bowers, but Washington is becoming his partner in crime.
Keep it up, Washington, because your stock is rising, and Bennett knows he can rely on you to make big plays. The Vanderbilt performance is just the start for Washington — the rest of this season is about to be massive for the already massive player.
3. Georgia football was fierce on offense with double-digit explosive plays
The Dawgs recorded 13 explosive plays. As a reminder, offensive coordinator Todd Monken defines an explosive play as passes of 16-plus yards and runs of 12 or more yards. Against the Commodores, there were 10 passes and three rushes considered explosive.
Five of those plays came in the fourth quarter, three in the third, three in the second, and two in the first quarter. Saturday was a big day for the Dawgs, and seeing these kinds of play should make fans happy. Again it doesn’t matter what kind of record Vanderbilt has or if people think they are good or not.
It’s an SEC team that Georgia was able to dominate. Anytime you record double-digit explosive plays, it usually results in a victory — especially when you’re as disciplined as Georgia.
4. Georgia football saw its defense grow as a unit against the Commodores
As a whole, Georgia’s defense was tough. They held Vandy to 45 yards on 23 attempts, averaging just two yards a rush. The Commodores threw for 105 yards through the air, completing 50% of their passes. In total, Georgia allowed Vandy to record 140 yards of offense on 47 plays, which brings the average to 3.2 yards a play.
The Dawgs dominated the Commodores, and if the defense caused a little more havoc, it would have looked even worse than it already was. Georgia forced one turnover — a fumble. Vanderbilt had no answer for the Dawgs’ defense.
Georgia grew as a unit because they didn’t give up any massive plays. They stayed focused even with the reserves in the game and got their second shutout of the season. This shutout has to give the young guys a lot of confidence moving forward.
5. Georgia football remains one of the most disciplined teams in the country
The Dawgs are one of the least penalized teams in the country, averaging four a game. Nationally it puts them at No. 5, and in the SEC, it has them at No. 1. Georgia has done a great job avoiding detrimental penalties. There have been times that the Dawgs have committed penalties that would keep an opponent’s drive going, but they stay disciplined and focused for the most part.
Georgia has to stay sharp and be mindful to let other teams talk trash and stay to themselves. This trait will be so important down the stretch because penalties can sometimes give opponents opportunities to capitalize off them. Discipline is such a head coach Kirby Smart staple, so the Dawgs will continue to strive to have that on the field.
The Dawgs saw three penalties for 30 yards against the Commodores, which is where you want to see your team.
6. The Georgia football defensive front put work in without its leader
Jalen Carter is working on getting back from a knee injury, and the Dawgs’ front seven has stepped up in his absence. Warren Brinson, Zion Logue, Mykel Williams, and the rest of that unit have done a great job creating pressure and limiting opponents from finding success toting the rock.
Nolan Smith gets thrown into this area as well because he recorded a sack for the Dawgs on Saturday and is the defensive leader. He is who the younger guys look to, and this group has grown a ton without Carter there. Limiting opponents to nine points a game is impressive, and the Dawgs’ defense should be pretty proud of themselves.
7. Georgia football desperately needed this kind of win ahead of the last portion of the schedule
Georgia dominated the Commodores at every level, outside of punting, because they did that far more than the Dawgs. The Dawgs beat Auburn by 32, but before that, the two weeks against Kent State and Missouri caused a lot of people to question Georgia. Even though it was “Vandy,” the Dawgs hung 55 on them as they should have.
Vanderbilt didn’t deserve mercy after canceling the 2020 game, and after last year’s win and now this year’s, Georgia got the revenge they wanted to serve the Commodores.
Georgia football bullied Vanderbilt and can now confidently go into the bye week. The Dawgs need to rest up and get some players healthy, so they can successfully get through the last portion of the season. Georgia is 7-0 for the second straight year and looking to hold onto its SEC East title. This group should be proud of what they put on the field against Vanderbilt, but now it’s time to refocus for a gauntlet of an SEC finishing stretch.