It’ll be the first time the Georgia Bulldogs will begin the season on the road and in Southeastern Conference play since 1994. In that season, Georgia beat South Carolina. Tomorrow night, Georgia will face the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. Head coach Kirby Smart knows Georgia fans will travel to the Music City and paint Broadway red and black.

“Our fans do a wonderful job traveling. When you get an opportunity for a three-day weekend and it involves Nashville — their fans will be the same way ours are — it’s a tough ticket right now because people want to go,” Smart explained. “People want to go to Nashville. It’s a place they enjoy going. Their fans are the same way. It’s a limited number of seats all together compared to most SEC stadiums, so it will be a tough ticket to get, and it should be that way.

“Our players are excited about playing in that kind of atmosphere against a really good football team. I think it is very different when you open with a conference team because of the enormous amount of pressure that comes. Are you going to execute in the moment because your margin of error is reduced drastically compared to opening with a school that might not be a Power-5 program or something. You have to be organized, you have to be detailed, you have to focus and you have to be unselfish. We talk a lot about that with our players that only 70 guys are going. There are going to be some guys sitting at home that are really good football players for us.” 

What will be key for Georgia is steady play from returning junior quarterback Jake Fromm. Throughout the off-season, Fromm has assumed a greater leadership role and he will have running back D’Andre Swift who will be the featured back after waiting his turn behind Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Elijah Holyfield.

“Jake has always been comfortable …  It’s like having an extra coach on the field,” Smart said. “His level of confidence continues to grow because you see him impart that on the younger players and on the offensive line, running backs, and receivers. He leads. He is in a better spot than he’s ever been in, just from the standpoint of having more experience. It has nothing to do about who is behind him, it has everything to do with who he is.”

No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs takes on the unranked Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Georgia and Vanderbilt have played every year since 1968, with Georgia leading the all time series with 57 wins compared to Vanderbilt’s 20.

Overall the teams have met 79 times on the gridiron. The last Vanderbilt win came in 2016, which snapped a ten year winless streak against the Bulldogs. Last year, Georgia won easily, by a score of 41-13.

kickoff is 7:30 P.M. on ESPN.

Photo by: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice

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