ATHENS, Ga.-- Freshman tailbacks Danny Ware and Thomas Brown each went over 100 yards rushing, and David Greene threw for a pair of scores, as No. 8 Georgia flexed its considerable muscle against Vanderbilt Saturday. The Bulldogs methodically ground out a 33-3 win over the Commodores before a Homecoming crowd of 92,746 on a sunny, windy afternoon at Sanford Stadium.
Ware led Georgia with 127 yards on the ground, while Brown added 122 to the Bulldogs' rushing total of 254 yards. Coming off a deflating loss the week before against Tennessee, Georgia moved the ball almost at will against the outmanned Commodores and rolled to a 527-187 advantage in total offense.
For Vanderbilt's offense, it was a day of confusion and frustration. The Commodores managed only 53 rushing yards and 13 total first downs, and Georgia sacked Vandy quarterbacks four times. But the defense fared little better, as the Bulldog offense averaged over seven yards on the day per offensive play.
"Obviously, we had a hard time matching up with them," said Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson. "They dominated both sides of the lines of scrimmage, especially their defense on our offense."
Made a 23-point underdog before the game, Vanderbilt had hoped to at least make a respectable showing against Mark Richt's Bulldogs, but the Commodores proved no match for UGA in this regionally televised matchup. Georgia established the tone early with a pair of short first-half scoring drives and a safety and never allowed Vanderbilt to climb back into contention.
"We did a whole lot better job than we did last week," said Georgia Coach Mark Richt. "We had a lot more consistent effort and we started out well, which is always a good sign. We kind of got a little stagnant at the end of the first half, but we came out strong in the second half. Overall our production was outstanding."
Georgia seized control of the regionally televised matchup early with a 57-yard drive on its first possession, capped off by Brown's 12-yard run up the middle. Keeping the ball on the ground, the Dawgs followed up with a 55-yard drive, with Greene scoring on a two-yard burst up the middle. Late in the quarter a Patrick Johnson field goal attempt fell short, and after a quarter, Georgia led 14-0.
Just inside the second quarter, Vanderbilt caught an apparent break when cornerback Dominique Morris recovered a Ware fumble at the Vanderbilt 2-yard line. But the turnover resulted in a Georgia score when Danny Verdun Wheeler stopped tailback Jeff Jennings inside the end zone for a safety.
Vandy finally got on the board with 4:12 left in the first half on a 42-yard Patrick Johnson field goal. The Commodores drove to the UGA 40 late in the half, but elected to punt rather than go for a first down on fourth-and-short. Georgia led at the midpoint, 16-3.
"It's hard to sustain drives and get the ball in scoring position, and it puts double pressure on your defense, when your offense is not moving and your defense has to go back out there and play," said.Coach Johnson. "They [Georgia] did an outstanding job. It was just tough sledding for us today."
Georgia opened the second half with another picture-perfect, 80-yard touchdown drive. Mixing the run and the pass, Greene drove UGA to the Vandy 22 before finding tight end Leonard Pope open for a score.
Later in the third period Vanderbilt stopped Georgia on a third-down play at the Commodore 38, and Richt eschewed the punt and went for it. Off a beautiful play fake to a running back, Greene found wideout Reggie Brown open in the end zone for a score. With 5:11 left in the third, the Bulldogs held a commanding 30-3 lead.
Vanderbilt had one last excellent chance to score early in the fourth quarter but couldn't cash in. A Cassen Jackson-Garrison run gave Vandy a second-and-goal at the Georgia 2-yard line; Jay Cutler ran the ball to the 1 on second down, and the Dores called a time-out.
On third down, Cutler was flushed from the pocket and lofted an incomplete pass toward the sideline. Because the pass failed to cross the line of scrimmage, Cutler was called for intentional grounding. The penalty moved the ball back to the 18, and a field goal attempt by Patrick Johnson was missed.
Georgia kicker Andy Bailey added a 40-yard field goal with 2:07 left in the game to provide the final margin.
Despite the losing effort, several notable new faces saw extensive action. Freshman tailback Jeff Jennings earned the first start of his career and played extensively, carrying six times. Vanderbilt's leading rusher turned out to be another true freshman, Cassen Jackson-Garrison. Playing in only his second college game, Jackson-Garrison picked up a team-high 37 yards on five carries.
Redshirt freshman Kyle Keown handled punting duties for the injured Abtin Iranmanesh. Iranmanesh handled kickoffs, but played with a cast on his left hand to protect an broken knuckle.
Besides Jennings and Jackson-Garrison, a number of younger players saw considerable action in the second half with the game out of reach, including Theo Horrocks and Lamar Divens. Johnson hinted that he would continue to search during coming weeks for players on his roster with the wherewithal to help his team.
"Yeah, we're trying to do everything we can," he said. "We're looking at every phase of our football team. We're looking for combinations we can put in there. But sometimes it's tough to find things that will work against a fine team like Georgia."
The Commodores (1-5, 1-3 SEC) return home to host Eastern Kentucky of the Ohio Valley Conference next Saturday at 1 pm CT (no television). Georgia (5-1, 3-1), still alive in the SEC Eastern Division race, faces Arkansas Saturday at Fayetteville, Ark.
Moses Osemwegie intercepted D.J. Shockley in the fourth quarter to thwart a Georgia drive early in the fourth quarter. After going its first three games without an interception, the Commodore defense now has at least one interception in each of its last three games.
Injuries: senior wide receiver Chris Young suffered a shoulder stinger in the second half and did not return.
The Vanderbilt cheering section numbered less than 300, as the Spirit of Gold Marching Band elected not make the trip.