Editor's note: On Friday, the SEC announced that Saturday's game between Vanderbilt and Georgia would be postponed and rescheduled for Dec. 19 because of COVID-19 issues with the Commodores.
Well lucky me. Who else gets the chance to write a preview about a team that A) Fired their coach just a few days ago, and B) Has the only female football player in the history of Power 5 conferences? That's the two things that have rocked our college football world the last few days. And to be honest, that’s just about the best news that the 0-and-8 Vanderbilt Commodores could possibly come up with.
They'll now face a Georgia Bulldogs team that has seemingly righted the ship and is playing much better football, now that they have JT Daniels at quarterback and the running game has been re-established. Last week the Bulldogs made short work of South Carolina (another team fresh off firing its coach), racing out to a 21-0 lead and cruising to a 45-16 decision.
Do the winless, coach-less, punchless Commodores have any kind of shot against the mighty Silver Britches? Mmmm, nah. Not really. But let’s break it down anyway.
Vanderbilt at No. 8 Georgia
Kickoff: Saturday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Spread: Georgia -35
When Vanderbilt Has the Ball
Oh c'mon, the biggest question in all of college football. Will Sarah Fuller actually score a point this time? The female soccer player who made headlines last weekend by playing against Missouri did not get a chance to kick an extra point or a field goal due to the boney-armed Commodore offense never getting close enough. She's already the first female to play in a Power 5 conference game. Now will she become the first female to score in a Power 5 conference game?
What will the morale of the team be? As mentioned above, head coach Derek Mason was relieved of his duties shortly after last week's 41-0 loss to the Tigers. The Commodores looked listless in that game in Columbia and now they have to travel to Athens to play a wrecking ball like Georgia? Will the Dores come out and play with some renewed enthusiasm? How well will interim head coach Todd Fitch motivate this team? Watch the body language early.
Will Seals reach 300 again? One of the few bright spots for Vanderbilt this year has been true freshman quarterback Ken Seals. He has thrown for a VU freshman-record 1,689 yards and has three 300-yard games. He has the services of receiver Cam Johnson and Chris Pierce, who have been stepping up their play of late. Well, before that Missouri debacle that is.
When Georgia Has the Ball
This should be pretty easy. Sorry to pile on you Vanderbilt, but this matchup doesn't look good. With JT Daniels chucking it and Zamir White and James Cook lugging it, the Bulldogs are starting to hit on all cylinders offensively. Two weeks ago Daniels threw for 401 yards in the 31-24 win over Mississippi State. Then last week, White and Cook combined for 188 rushing yards and averaged a staggering 9.9 yards per carry in a 45-16 rout of South Carolina.
Keep developing more go-to guys. Of late, it’s the J-boys that have stepped to the fore in this Bulldog offense. Running back James Cook had just 155 rushing yards and zero touchdowns in his first six games of the season, but then exploded for 104 yards on six carries and two touchdowns last week. Meanwhile, wideout Jermaine Burton had just 10 catches through the first six games this season, but in the last two weeks he has caught 11 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns.
Will Vanderbilt hold the Georgia offense under 600 yards? Last week against Missouri the Commodore defense allowed 603 total yards, including 160 yards on the ground to Larry Rountree III alone. Can you imagine how bad it'll be for VU here, going up against that far-meaner Bulldog offensive line? As mentioned above, White and Cook ran merrily through wide-open ranges of green grass against South Carolina. Look for more of the same here.
Half of me thinks that Derek Mason pulled Sarah Fuller onto the football team to get some publicity and earn himself some goodwill to keep his job. I know that’s a conspiracy-like theory. Well either way, nothing saved his job here. And now his former Vanderbilt team ends their season on the road at No. 8 Georgia. I feel bad for the Commodores. This has been a long, tough, fruitless season. And mercifully it will now come to an end and — other than the Fuller story — will easily be forgotten.
But I WILL predict that Fuller gets her name in the scorebook for kicking a 24-yard field goal on the last play of the game.
Prediction: Georgia 56, Vanderbilt 3
Podcast: Coaching Carousel and Week 14 Preview and Predictions
— Written by Eric Sorenson, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He is a college football, college baseball and college hockey addict... and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Stitch_Head.
(Zamir White photo courtesy of @GeorgiaFootball)