That’s how homecoming games are supposed to go.
Except, of course, I couldn’t be there.
It was kind of weird watching a game live from Sanford Stadium in my own living room due to my kidney stone trouble this week, but I couldn’t have asked for a much better outcome.
Despite a slow, balky start where you weren’t sure everyone in red was on the same page, Georgia finally got on track Saturday against outmanned Vanderbilt and ended up with an impressive blowout that also was a shutout — no mean feat in SEC play, no matter who the opponent is.
Offensively, the Dogs misfired occasionally, having to settle for field goals and a miss on three of their red zone trips, a tendency they need to get out of as we return to more serious opposition.
But the rushing offense managed to overcome the loss of suspended starting tailback Caleb King, with Washaun Ealey not only holding on to the ball but gaining 123 yards on 17 carries, with one touchdown. And little Carlton Thomas, returning from hamstring trouble, was surprisingly effective, gaining 40 yards on only four carries, including two impressive touchdown runs.
OK, it was against the conference’s 11th-ranked rushing defense, but the way the running game was whiffing earlier this season, that kind of success by Georgia was anything but a given.
Through the air, Aaron Murray didn’t look quite as impressive as he did last week against the Vols, but he still threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Early on, the Dores seemed to be keeping A.J. Green in check, but Kris Durham stepped up and made himself a big target, pulling in four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.
One of them, when Murray threw to him despite triple coverage and Durham went up high and pulled the ball down, was a definitely highlight reel play.
And while three catches for 61 yards certainly wasn’t up to his usual standards, Green came up with another oh-my-gosh touchdown reception, with great moves after the catch.
Defensively, Georgia did a good job against Vandy’s option attack and finally managed to gain enough pressure against a mobile quarterback to shut him down. Vandy wound up only one for 11 on third down, and that’s a welcome turnaround for Todd Grantham’s defense.
And you gotta love any game with no Georgia turnovers!
Overall, Georgia outgained Vandy by a little over 400 yards Saturday and ended up winning a relative yawner — literally so for new mascot Uga VIII, who spent much of the day snoozing in his dog house.
Yep, just the way homecoming is supposed to go.
I’ll be back Sunday afternoon with more, but in the meantime feel free to share what you liked or didn’t like about Saturday’s whomping of the Dores.
(And thanks to all the good wishes relayed to me via my brothers from the folks in Section 104!)
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