NASHVILLE — Greetings from Vanderbilt Stadium, where it is yet another gorgeous college football Saturday afternoon. It’s 72 degrees and there’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s supposed to cool considerably, down into the 50s after the 7 p.m. kickoff, so it should be great football weather.
It hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s nothing they’ve done, mind you. It’s just that their cousins from the Western Division, Mississippi State, didn’t hold up their end of the deal over in Starkville.
South Carolina escaped with a hard-fought 14-12 win, meaning the Gamecocks will remain at least in a tie in first place in the East and holding the tiebreaker over the Bulldogs should they handle Vanderbilt today. South Carolina was not able to escape, however, with its star tailback. Marcus Lattimore left the game with a knee injury that “could be serious,” according to coach Steve Spurrier’s postgame comments.
Of course, Georgia’s Bulldogs have their own business to handle here in the Music City. They have to get by the upset-minded Commodores, who are 3-0 this season here in this little stadium on the West End. I chatted briefly with former Bulldog great Eric Zeier (now with the Georgia Bulldog Radio Network) and reminded him that I was here in 1991 when his team was knocked off by Vandy.
“Thanks,” he said sarcistically. “You’re about the ninth person today who has reminded me.”
If the Dogs can negotiate tonight’s obstacle — and it’s a considerable one, more on that later — it sets up for a pretty exciting finish in the SEC race.
Georgia has the week off before heading down to Florida to face the Gators. After that it’s three consecutive home games against New Mexico State, Auburn and Kentucky before the annual bloodletting against Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
For comparison sake . . .
So, say what you will but Georgia is certainly in the thick of things. Well, it is provided it takes care of business tonight. And that’s always a frightful proposition with this year’s team.
Thus far, you’d have to say the Bulldogs play just good enough to win. That appeared to be the case in their last three wins over Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee. Despite dominating those teams statistically, the last five minutes of each of those contests were played with the outcome in doubt.
That doesn’t need to be the case tonight as this Vanderbilt is just the sort that would love to hang its hat on the chance to knock off a contender such as the Bulldogs.
Some quick notes:
So let’s hear your thoughts on the game. I’ll update with news and notes here before and after the game. And remember to FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER for updates during the game.
– Chip Towers