Just when it seemed that things could not get worse for the Georgia Bulldogs, they did. Georgia has taken a physical beating this season, literally, with star players like Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Justin Scott-Wesley, Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett all missing extended periods of time. And those injuries are starting to catch up with the Bulldogs.
Two weeks ago, Georgia lost, at home, to the Missouri Tigers, 41-26, essentially taking the Bulldogs out of any hope for a BCS bid. And then on Saturday, Georgia lost again, this time on the road, to the Vanderbilt Commodores. And while these are not the Commodores of a decade ago, a team like Georgia feels that it should beat Vanderbilt every time.
Senior quarterback Aaron Murray had perhaps the worst game of his career on Saturday. Murray was 16-of-28 through the air for only 114 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception. Georgia had only 221 total yards in the loss. However, the Bulldogs were still in a position to win, leading 27-14 heading into the fourth quarter. That’s when Vandy rallied, scoring the game’s last 17 points to win 31-27.
It is very likely that the injuries played a significant role in the loss, although Georgia head coach Mark Richt is not one to make excuses. However, the lack of numbers likely caught up to Georgia in the fourth quarter, as the offense failed to move the ball while the defense could not stop the Vandy offense.
Perhaps the best news for Richt and his team is that they have an open date this weekend. Perhaps no team in the country needs, or deserves, an open date more than Georgia. The Bulldogs must use this week to heal themselves, mentally and physically, before next week’s showdown with the Florida Gators.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.