ATHENS, Ga. ----- The 15th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs conducted a two-hour practice in jerseys, shorts and helmets Wednesday as they prepare for their upcoming SEC game with Vanderbilt.
Kickoff for Saturday’s contest is set for noon ET, and the game will be televised nationally by CBS. With the early start time, Georgia coach Mark Richt said pregame warm-up will be important.
“We’ve got to wake up and get it going, be alert, active and be ready to go,” Richt said.
Richt mentioned several keys to the game for the Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1 SEC) to be successful, indicating the difference between winning and losing is very slim.
“It’s going to be how well we execute what we do; the turnover margin, we’re minus one and minus four in the two games we’ve lost; third down conversions and stops; those are the things I’ll be looking at,” Richt said.
The Commodores (3-3, 0-3 SEC) should be rested after having an open date last Saturday. In their last action, the Commodores dropped a 51-28 decision to Missouri in Nashville. Vanderbilt ranks sixth in the SEC in scoring, averaging 33.7 points a game. They feature one of the most productive receiving tandems in the SEC in seniors Jordan Matthews and Jonathan Krause. Collectively, they average 189.9 receiving yards per game, and that trails only the LSU duo of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry (201.0 yards).
Georgia’s receiving group has been hit hard with injuries this season. One Bulldog receiver who is expected to make his debut Saturday is junior split end Jonathon Rumph. He has been sidelined since the fall with a hamstring injury.
“He (Rumph) hasn’t played all year and hasn’t practiced a lot so to say he’s going to have a huge impact, that would be hard to predict,” said Richt. “Hopefully, he will get in the game and make some plays. We don’t have plays designed for one specific receiver but if he gets in the game, he has a chance.”
On the defensive side, the Commodores are allowing 26.5 points a game, which ranks eighth in the SEC. They have allowed at least 35 points in all three of their SEC losses this year.