NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt could not slow down Georgia’s ground game in the Commodores’ season opener, as the third-ranked Bulldogs opened the season Saturday night with a 30-6 win.
Vanderbilt debuted a new starting quarterback in Riley Neal along with new offensive coordinator Gerry Gdowski. The Commodores also had Ke’Shawn Vaughn, the SEC’s top returning rusher who ran for 1,244 yards last season, and the league’s top returning receiver in Kalija Lipscomb.
But the Commodores were without three starters, including two on the offensive line with both left tackle Devin Cochran and left guard Saige Young out with injuries. That left Neal with little time to throw against a Georgia defense that returned seven starters on a unit that was 15th nationally giving up just 19.2 points a game last season.
Neal finished 15 of 25 for 85 yards before being replaced by Deuce Wallace for the final possession. Vaughn was held to 74 yards on 15 carries.
Vanderbilt managed a pair of field goals by Ryley Guay of 26 and 46 yards.
D’Andre Swift ran 16 times for 149 yards, and Brian Herrien added 65 and a touchdown run as the Bulldogs rolled up 326 yards rushing. Georgia finished with a 481-225 edge in total offense, and the Bulldogs also had two sacks and recovered a fumble.