NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Chubb and Sony Michel may still be running … and running … and running.
Vanderbilt certainly did nothing to slow them down, as the duo combined for 288 rushing yards to highlight 5th-ranked Georgia’s 45-14 rout of the Commodores here Saturday afternoon.
One word – dominating.
Chubb ran for 138 yards on 16 carries, while Michel led the way with 150 on just 12 carries for Georgia, which grounded out 423 rushing yards against a Commodore defense that was allowing 204 yards on the ground per game.
“I’m happy for them, because they’re the leaders of our team, they’re the leaders of the offense for sure. Those guys give sweat and blood for this university, they play on special teams, they do everything right," head coach Kirby Smart said. "We can never repay them for what they have done for this university, because they came back. They give so much and they care. They didn’t come back for themselves; they did it for everyone else on the team. That is lost in college football a lot of the times – you don’t see guys who do that."
How impressive were they?
Georgia (6-0, 3-0) finished the first half with 173 yards rushing, before rushing for 172 in the third quarter alone, and by the time the game was over had piled up 549 total yards.
It was that kind of day.
Along with two touchdown runs by Chubb and one from Michel, sophomore Elijah Holyfield tallied his first career touchdown on a 15-yard run, while freshman D’Andre Swift caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Jake Fromm.
"Coach had a great game plan today. Our line blocked their tails off," Michel said. "We put some balls on the ground, so that's something we need to work on.”
Fromm wasn’t bad himself. The freshman only attempted 11 throws but completed seven for 102 yards and two touchdowns, including a 47-yarder to Terry Godwin who has now scored five times on just 12 receptions this year.
A 27-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship accounted for Georgia’s other score, dealing another blow to a Vanderbilt team that started the year 3-0.
"It's been hit, but it's not eroded. We are 3-3 at the halfway point. That's one game better than we were this time a year ago," Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said. "We've played some tough teams, but that doesn't excuse the way we played... If you give me the consistency, we can get a lot better... The shots have accumulated, but it's still about getting off the field."
Up 45-7, Jacob Eason came into the game early in the fourth quarter, but promptly fumbled after a blindside sack by Bryce Lewis. The ball was recovered by Nifae Lealao who rumbled down to the 1-yard line.
It took four tries, but the Commodores finally scored on a 1-yards pass from Kyle Shurmur to C.J. Duncan with 9:08 to play.
Chubb sparked Georgia’s first-half performance, rushing 12 times for 106 yards with two touchdowns, helping Georgia to a 21-0 lead.
A 5-yard pass from Fromm to Swift accounted for the Bulldogs’ second score.
Defensively, the Bulldogs weren’t quite as dominant as they had recently been, allowing Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3) to score late in the half with a six-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Ralph Webb.
Shurmur’s 38-yard pass to Kalija Lipscomb highlighted the drive to set up the score, which was the first given up by Georgia in its three conference games.
“We did not play our best defensive football game. We didn’t strike up front, we didn’t tackle well and we didn’t get off the field on third downs, but our defense needed that," Smart said. "They have been told by the media and everyone else that they’re the greatest thing ever. Vanderbilt came out with a good quarterback, executed well, converted third downs and we didn’t play to the standard that we’re supposed to. We can get better defensively and coach off of this performance to get their attention.”
Georgia hosts Missouri next Saturday at 7:30.