Yeah, it was only Vandy. It was also utter domination by UGA

Note the number of Commodores on the ground. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Just for fun, note the number of Commodores on the ground. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Athens – This was billed as the year of the New Vanderbilt. What happened here Saturday night indicated it might be the year of the Old Georgia.

Old as in the days of Sinkwich and Trippi, of Dooley and Erk, of the Davids Greene and Pollack. Heck, maybe even old as in the days of Herschel Walker, the Goal-Line Stalker.

I know, I know. The opposition was only Vanderbilt, the Harvard of the South and the straggler of the Southeastern Conference. But these Commodores arrived with a new attitude and a serrated edge, or so we were told. They’d come close to beating Georgia a year ago, and coach James Franklin had gotten big mileage from his postgame spat with Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

Franklin’s message to the world: “We’re nobody’s punching bag anymore.”

New message: “Would somebody please ask that team in red to stop hitting us so hard?”

Of Vandy’s five most recent SEC losses, the most lopsided had come by six points, and that was to Tennessee in overtime. The Commodores had opened this season by playing South Carolina within four points, and that was with no help from the officials, who failed to detect a clear interference penalty on Vandy’s final fling. Gone, apparently, were the days when you could schedule the Harvard of the South for homecoming and feel confident of placating all your alums.

But that was before Franklin brought his team to Sanford Stadium. On this night the concept of the New Vandy seemed as cutting-edge as the marketing campaign behind New Coke. Georgia scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, and not one of those drives was triggered by a turnover. The Bulldogs simply lined up and went to work.

Who looked good? Well, Aaron Murray completed his first 12 passes and Keith Marshall popped a 52-yard touchdown and Todd Gurley ran hard and Tavarres King caught a 22-yard TD and Jarvis Jones wrought his usual havoc and … how about we save space and time and do this instead? How about we list the Bulldogs who didn’t look good?

And we will. Just as soon as I think of one.

In the proud history of Georgia football, there have been better halves. But not many, and not lately, and not any I can recall against SEC opposition. This was power and precision and skill and speed and everything you’d want from a team. This was utter domination. The only way Vandy would have stood a chance was if penalties — the Commodious Doors had nine in the first quarter — were points.

Said King: “That’s the first time I’ve seen us come out that way in my five years here.”

Said Jones: “We came here and executed and had fun doing it. Look at the scoreboard — that speaks for itself.”

Then this: “All our teams — offense, defense, special teams — came to play, and you see how good we can be. If we keep preparing, we can be a dangerous team.”

Georgia gained 303 first-half yards to Vandy’s 136. It wasn’t that the visitors weren’t trying — on the contrary, they demonstrated some of the Franklin attitudinal “edge” — but that trying availed them not one whit. By the end of the second quarter the we’re-not-gonna-take-it Franklin had been reduced to settling for a field goal with his team down 27-nil.

Then again, going for it wasn’t the answer, either. Trailing 34-3 midway through the third quarter, Vanderbilt tried to convert on fourth down. Jordan Rodgers, the younger and lesser brother of Aaron, was sacked by the aforementioned Jones. Might want to block that guy, Mr. Franklin.

It got so bad that even when Vandy appeared to score, it really didn’t. Early in the fourth quarter, Rodgers ran right and sought to stretch the ball over the pylon. The refs on the field gave him six points, which would have brought the Commodores within 48-9. Replay review gave him a lost fumble and a Georgia touchback. Holy mackerel.

The first three Bulldog games, all victories, had offered hints of their potential. This night provided the first sustained look, and it was quite the sight. There are so many gifted players on this roster that the thought occurred: If you were holding a draft of the personnel on these two teams, how many picks would pass before you took a Commodore? Ten? Twenty? Forty?

“Talent-wise, we’ve really had some good teams here,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “The 2002 team was very talented. But when you execute well and you have good chemistry, you look like you have more talent than you do.”

Then this: “Not that we haven’t got talent.”

Yes, stronger tests await. (Although it’s unclear how good Tennessee, next week’s guest, is.) South Carolina in Columbia will be a rough go, and Florida looks solid, too. But who on this schedule looks any better than Georgia? And if the Bulldogs can harness the attention to detail they brought to this game, what’s the chance of them showing up in the Dome unbeaten come December?

I know, I know. This was only Vandy. But this was the Vandy that had been playing every SEC opponent tough, and the Bulldogs went ballistic on it. I’ve seen a few Georgia games in my day; I don’t know that I’ve seen a more impressive one.

By Mark Bradley

295 comments Add your comment

wag

September 22nd, 2012
11:05 pm

first!!!! GO DAWGS

Left Coast Dawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:10 pm

Left Coast Dawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:11 pm

I got a gold and a silver on MB’s blogs in one day….pretty nice :-)

GTBob

September 22nd, 2012
11:11 pm

It was Vandy. Who cares?

Left Coast Dawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:12 pm

This is the UGA team all the fans have been waiting to see and expect for the rest of this year.

Music City Dawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:13 pm

SWEET!!!! Loved every minute of it !

Pee Wee Herman

September 22nd, 2012
11:14 pm

Cant wait till we play KY!

Since Vince

September 22nd, 2012
11:15 pm

Very satisfying…. a long time coming!

1+2

September 22nd, 2012
11:15 pm

It’s Miami GTBob? Who won?

Left Coast Dawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:16 pm

You’re right Bob, you have bigger concerns….like your pitiful excuse for a coach going for it on 4th down in overtime instead of kicking the field goal……the high percentage play, you know?

Since Vince

September 22nd, 2012
11:16 pm

Fla State is now ripping clemons a new one

St. Simons

September 22nd, 2012
11:17 pm

Georgia wins, Georgia Tech loses . . . it’s a great day for America

DILLIGAF

September 22nd, 2012
11:17 pm

Arthur Lynch stinks…penalties and dropped passes. Why is he on the field?

UGA85′

rhbDAWG1

September 22nd, 2012
11:18 pm

GTBob – Yeah, Vandysorta’ looked like NATS on defense.

GTMANBOOBS

September 22nd, 2012
11:18 pm

Great one Jackets….Said it’s great to be a GEORGIA BULLDOG……

moobs

September 22nd, 2012
11:19 pm

Why couldnt UGA Score in the 4th qtr?

the rest of us

September 22nd, 2012
11:20 pm

Who cares? Writes the Tech fan under a post game story about the Dawgs. Classic. GTBob, U are so predictable, pun intended.

Joey

September 22nd, 2012
11:21 pm

Great game, UGA.

Better than my prediction (10 points or so).

Wow.

Go Dawgs!

Sb

September 22nd, 2012
11:21 pm

GTBoob
Seriously!!!!! Bahahahaha
Clean your own house before you worry about ours!!!!

GTBob

September 22nd, 2012
11:21 pm

GTBob – Yeah, Vandysorta’ looked like NATS on defense.

No team in history has ever looked worse on defense then GT did today.

oldbird

September 22nd, 2012
11:21 pm

i might have to agree Mark. Very impressive. I thought we might cover the spread but I never dreamed that I would be bored by the end of the first quarter.

sjh

September 22nd, 2012
11:22 pm

GTBob way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Moobs Johnson

September 22nd, 2012
11:23 pm

If Richt can keep his edge, UGA will be a hard team to beat. Hats off to Georgia for playing focused. lets see if they can keep it up for the whole year.

BILLY JACK

September 22nd, 2012
11:23 pm

Georgia might beat tech by70 points

Since Vince

September 22nd, 2012
11:23 pm

Fla State 49 Clemons 31

GTBob

September 22nd, 2012
11:24 pm

Who cares? Writes the Tech fan under a post game story about the Dawgs.

UGA fans posted all week about how good Vandy is and how tough this game was going to be. Now Mark talks about how great Vandy is and how UGA is just so amazing they killed them anyways. It is complete nonsense.

GTBob

September 22nd, 2012
11:25 pm

GTBob way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

That is the only thing we are good at.

Old Dog Class of 80

September 22nd, 2012
11:27 pm

I will say that the Dawgs looked great tonight! Keep it up!

Big Crimson 75

September 22nd, 2012
11:30 pm

Impressive Win tonight for the dogs. Tip of the cap.
It’s a 4 Horse race in the SEC for the Big Trophy:
Bama-LSU-UGA & FLA.

Dawgs1965

September 22nd, 2012
11:31 pm

Bradley, you called it. Easy calm win.

Maxwell the chihuahua hunter

September 22nd, 2012
11:32 pm

wake me up when Georgia beats someone with a pulse.

GTBob

September 22nd, 2012
11:33 pm

So are UGA fans still convinced that Vandy is a great team like they told me all week?

SOS

September 22nd, 2012
11:34 pm

yawner…… it was Vandy

Mase

September 22nd, 2012
11:36 pm

Alabama 42 Uga 10. Should be an exciting SEC championship game…

SOS

September 22nd, 2012
11:37 pm

@ mase…. I was thinking the same thing same ole UGA

Since Vince

September 22nd, 2012
11:40 pm

clemons 3rd and goal

Grantham

September 22nd, 2012
11:41 pm

Keeping D in, man is intense

Since Vince

September 22nd, 2012
11:42 pm

Fla state 49 Clemons 37 two point failed

slydog

September 22nd, 2012
11:43 pm

GTBob, hope you guys have Gus Malzahn’s phone number or maybe even Charlie Strong. Ya think?

FLA DAWG

September 22nd, 2012
11:44 pm

Yes,

Total domination on both sides of the ball.
But the real test will come against SC and UF.
I believe we can beat them but who knows which way the ball will bounce or which plays Bobo will call.

a smart guy too

September 22nd, 2012
11:44 pm

Vandy shut down Uga in the fourth Qtr.

SavDawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:45 pm

Malcolm Mitchell sucks at CB. He quits after ten yards…

Pug

September 22nd, 2012
11:46 pm

GTBob, you might want to spend more time focusing on your own crappy team than commenting on UGA kicking a$$. I know it sucks to be a Nerd. Too bad, so sad. Go Dawgs!

SatillaDawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:47 pm

Russ Rules Again!

Go DAWGS!

I hate all teams orange!

Not So Fast

September 22nd, 2012
11:47 pm

UGA has the best offense in the SEC and it isn’t even close.

GTBob

September 22nd, 2012
11:49 pm

UGA has the best offense in the SEC and it isn’t even close.

There is no other team in the SEC with even a decent offense.

slydog

September 22nd, 2012
11:49 pm

Anyway, it was only Vandy. But I do like the fact that these Dawgs played to their talent level and kept their heads in the game. This program has not done that in almost ten years. Also, for the first time in ten years, Georgia has a player no other team comes close to having: Jarvis Jones (just like Georgia had Pollack). Wouldn’t it be sweet to see Murray vs Mettenberger in the Dome?

georgianna bulltiger

September 22nd, 2012
11:50 pm

GTBob

It was Miami, who cares?

slydog

September 22nd, 2012
11:51 pm

“GTBob
September 22nd, 2012
11:49 pm

UGA has the best offense in the SEC and it isn’t even close.

There is no other team in the SEC with even a decent offense.”

There are enough championships in the SEC to disprove your theory.

NCDawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:52 pm

I can’t remember a Dawgs team that looked better overall. Last year’s throwdown on Auburn was pretty good but we still had to wait til late in the half for that one to break open. This game was over after Marshall’s run. This is the kind of laugher that Big 12 and Pac 12 teams enjoy against their lesser brethren. I am proud to say that the Dawgs looked like a Top 5 team tonight. The highlights should be quite a recruiting tool. I’m sure all the recruits that came to the game took note of the dominance of our offense in particular. This is Vanderbilt that came very close to knocking off S.Carolina… that held Spurrier and Lattimore to 17 measly points. They have a pretty decent defense and we steamrolled them. It was the kind of butt kicking the Dawgs should have given Buffalo. I am excited to see what they do to Tennessee. GO DAWGS! SIC”EM.