Vanderbilt Defense Makes Big Plays In Upset Of Georgia

By Joseph Lisi
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

After coming a disappointing home loss to the undefeated Missouri Tigers last week, the stage was set entering this week’s contest with Vanderbilt for a solid road victory for the No. 15 Georgia Bulldogs. The Commodores were 0-3 in the SEC and did not have the depth on defense to challenge the Bulldogs high-octane offense. However, the Commodores defense rose to the occasion in stunning the Bulldogs 31-27 in front of a frenzied crowd in Nashville.

The Commodores used aggressive blitzing schemes that put a lot of pressure on the Bulldogs offensive line. By implementing run blitzes and consistently stuffing Bulldog running backs J.J Green and Brendan Douglas, the Commodores made Georgia one dimensional offensively.

Vanderbilt held the Bulldogs to 221 total yards of offense and held Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray to 16 of 28 passing for 114 yards and one interception. More impressively, was the solid play of the Commodores secondary, which held the Bulldog receivers to 4.1 yards per catch. The Commodores played physical bump and run coverage and forced the Bulldogs receivers to work down the field.

Vanderbilt closed the running lanes for Green and Douglas all afternoon. The Commodores defensive line forced double-teams, which allowed the linebackers to fill the gaps and hold the Bulldogs to 3.1 yards per carry.

The Commodores attacking style of defense paid dividends in the second half when Vanderbilt trailed 27-14. The Commodores were able to force three second-half turnovers that put their offense in a position to score the upset.

Vanderbilt moved to 4-3 on the year and 1-3 in the SEC. The Commodores will challenge Texas A&M next weekend in College Station.

Joseph Lisi is a writer for, follow him on Twitter @GoForthe2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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