'Dores drop wild game to Georgia
Vanderbilt falls to 3-3 on the season and 1-3 in the SEC.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)- The Georgia Bulldogs know how much a win means to be too choosy about notching any victory.
Murray threw for a career-high 326 yards and three touchdowns, and
Blair Walsh kicked four field goals as the Georgia Bulldogs held off
Vanderbilt 33-28 for their fifth straight victory Saturday night.
definitely have to work on finishing games off," Murray said. "But at
the end of the day it is a win. Pretty, ugly, whatever it is, it's a
win. We have to go back this bye week and work on our fundamentals. We
have a lot to work on."
Georgia coach Mark Richt agrees,
saying he was more thankful than anything else for a win that helped
the Bulldogs (5-2, 4-1) keep pace in the East with South Carolina, a
14-12 winner over Mississippi State earlier.
"I just don't
know if we are ready to continue on top of the Eastern Division the way
we played tonight," Richt said. "We have to get better in a lot of
Vanderbilt (3-3, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) hadn't
beaten Georgia in Nashville since 1991, and Udom Umoh blocked Drew
Butler's punt with 7 seconds left to give the Commodores one last
chance at the Georgia 20 before a substitution infraction backed the
Commodores up to the Georgia 25.
"I am just thankful that
Butler had the presence of mind to get up and make a play," Richt said.
"Because if he doesn't make a play, the game's over."
Rodgers overthrew Chris Boyd in the end zone, leaving a second for a
final play. Rodgers was hit as he threw short to tight end Brandon
Barden, who was tackled well short at the 16.
"You'd love to
scoop and score ...," Vandy coach James Franklin said. "It wasn't for a
lack of effort. It didn't bounce our way."
The emotions of the game didn't end there.
the teams headed toward the middle of the field, Franklin said he was
trying to find Richt when he apparently had a heated discussion with
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. The coordinator, who was
seen making a choke sign as Florida lined up for the winning field goal
last year, was brief with reporters.
"I love my players. I'm going to support my players," Grantham said.
said some things were said that he didn't think were appropriate. He
said only that he had a discussion with one of Richt's assistants that
didn't go well, but Franklin said he explained to Richt what happened
and that the situation is for the head coaches to handle.
are not going to sit back and take stuff from anybody. Anybody. No
one," Franklin said. "Those days are long gone, and they are never
coming back. Ever."
Richt said he didn't know what happened
after the game ended. He said he had heard a couple of versions but it
was hard to know which was the truth.
"All I know is that I
hate the fact that at the end of the game we can't just shake hands
like gentlemen and walk off the field like men of integrity," Richt
Georgia also intercepted three passes, the last by
Bacarri Rambo with 1:10 left, to win its fifth straight and 16th in 17
games in this series.
The hectic ending was fitting on a night
when a transformer on the east concourse of the stadium blew and
knocked out four sets of lights with 2:53 left in the first half.
Workers fixed a fuse and got all but one stand working by early in the
Walsh clanked his first field goal attempt off the left upright and missed another wide right.
Commodores had the ball twice in the final 2:30, first when Casey
Hayward picked off a Murray pass at the Vandy 2. Rambo ended that drive
with his interception, but the Bulldogs, who had to kick so many field
goals, couldn't pick up a first down to run out the clock, which set up
the final few plays.
Murray threw two TDs to Marlon Brown, the
last a 75-yarder with 13:57 left that proved to be the winner and the
longest TD play for both quarterback and receiver. Murray also
connected with Tavarres King on a 20-yard TD set up by Orson Charles
blocking a punt.
The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead on Walsh's first
field goal, a 53-yarder, and scored 20 points in the second quarter and
Georgia had allowed only two offensive
touchdowns in the previous four games. The Bulldogs gave up three to
Vandy, two in the final 16 minutes as Zac Stacy capped an 84-yard drive
by running for a 19-yard TD with 9:15 left.
offense early came on a fake punt when the backup punter completed a
35-yard pass, and on a halfback pass when Stacy tossed a 43-yard TD
pass to Jordan Matthews. Andre Hal also returned a kickoff 96 yards for
a TD in the third quarter just after Georgia took its biggest lead of
the game at 23-7.
Rodgers, who came in after Larry Smith was
intercepted for the second time, drove the Commodores 75 yards to set
up Jerron Seymour's 1-yard TD with 26 seconds left in the third.