Nov 28, 2020; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Kenny McIntosh (6) rushes against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the third quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY

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No. 8 Georgia hosts Vanderbilt on Senior Day

Vanderbilt travels to face No. 8 Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs (6-2) come off a 45-16 victory at South Carolina. They’ll host Senior Day against the Commodores (0-8), a day Georgia coach Kirby Smart says has special meaning this year.

“[The seniors have] been the glue,” Smart said. “It’s easy for them to opt out. I guess you could say it’s an avenue to get out, but to me, in life, you can’t opt out of that. You’ve got to go out and compete and work and challenge yourself, and that’s what these kids have done.

“They’ve done it for each other, stuck together. They’ve done a really good job thus far of maintaining social distancing, washing hands, not having major issues in our organization, and I appreciate the guys that have done that and the people that have helped them.”

However, it’s a sophomore — quarterback JT Daniels — who has sparked the Bulldogs lately.

Daniels, who took over as the starting quarterback two games ago, has completed 38 of 54 passes for 540 yards, six touchdowns and an interception. Georgia has won both starts and scored 76 points in those two games, the best consecutive-game point totals for the team this season.

The running game was key in how last week turned out for UGA on both sides of the ball. UGA ran 46 times for 332 times and four TDs, with three Bulldogs — running backs Zamir White (84 yards), James Cook (104) and Kenny McIntosh (70) — leading the way.

The Bulldogs held Carolina to 83 yards on 43 carries. Inside linebacker Naboke Dean (63 tackles) and Monty Rice (46), both Butkus Award semifinalists, have been key defenders.

Earlier in the month, the Commodores came close to wins against Kentucky (38-35) and Mississippi State (24-17). But the Commodores were demolished by a 41-0 score at Missouri last week, leading to the dismissal of coach Derek Mason — who failed to have a winning season in seven years — on Sunday.

Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch is Vanderbilt’s interim head coach. Fitch has done a good job with a young offense that’s shown big improvement as the year has progressed.

VU had eclipsed 400 yards total offense in each of its previous four games. Against Missouri, that number dropped to 192.

However, true freshman quarterback Ken Seals has been cause for optimism. Seals is 164 of 248 for 1,689 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Wide receiver Cam Johnson (49 catches, 481 yards) has been his top target.

Vandy will also benefit from having running back Keyon Henry-Brooks around. Henry-Brooks has played just five games due to injuries, but the Georgia native has amassed 677 yards of offense on 125 touches this season.

Rumors swirled about player departures following Mason’s firing. Fitch addressed that on Tuesday.

“Later in the week we’ll have a better idea of where we’re at with all the numbers,” Fitch said. “It’s an emotional time when these things happen on a staff, and there’s a reaction right away. We are trying to teach patience (and) communicate with our guys.”

Georgia is a 35.5-point favorite. The Bulldogs have won the last three games in the annual series.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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