Athens, GA - After a convincing 48-3 victory over SEC foe Vanderbilt on Saturday evening in Athens, the Bulldogs will continue conference play next Saturday when they host Tennessee at Sanford Stadium.
With the victory over the Commodores, Georgia improved to 4-0 on the season, including a 2-0 mark in SEC play. Tennessee enters the matchup with a 3-1 record (0-1 SEC), with their lone loss of the season coming back on Sept. 15 against eastern division rival Florida.
Freshman running back Todd Gurley once again dominated the running game for the Bulldogs on Saturday, leading the team with 130 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns.
“We got a pretty good taste of what he was going to look like (in spring scrimmages), and we were all just really looking forward to seeing what it would look like in some real games,” said head coach Mark Richt on Sunday evening.
Fellow freshman back Keith Marshall also found success in the running game against Vanderbilt, rushing for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the night.
“With both Keith and Todd, it’s just a situation where we want everyone to stay hungry and humble,” said Richt. “That’s what you want. That’s how they were when they got here, and I think they’re still that way. I hope they continue to strive to become an expert at what they do on the field and take care of their responsibilities as a student.”
When asked about the success of the team so far this season despite missing several key defensive players, Richt said that “there’s definitely room for improvement. I think to this point our team has done a good job, and especially on defense. Guys have been in roles that are more than what they would have been if there weren’t people losing playing time. I think everybody’s getting an opportunity to play more than they would have, and they have benefitted from that. But do I think we can continue to get better? Yes I do.”
Richt also spoke about the challenges that Tennessee will present this weekend, most notably in their passing game.
“They’re definitely throwing and catching the football extremely well,” Richt noted. “Their running game is starting to come around too, and they want balance in their attack. It’s hard to have balance with the types of receivers they’ve got. These guys can really go, and they’re not only fast, but they’re also tall with great leaping ability. It’s hard not to want to throw the football with those guys, and especially with a quarterback like Tyler Bray.”
The Vols are coming off a hard-fought 47-26 non-conference victory over Akron this past Saturday in Knoxville. The game was tied at 23 at the half, and Tennessee led only by a touchdown entering the fourth quarter before breaking away for the win.
The Bulldogs claimed the victory over the Vols last year in Knoxville, winning by a score of 20-12.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game at Sanford Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on CBS.