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UGA Wins With Specific Style

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Running the football at will, dominating defensively and excelling on special teams, Georgia overwhelmed Vanderbilt with a traditional throwback effort, a tried-and-true approach for the red-and-black.

Georgia opened the season as the lone ranked team in college football playing a conference road game in week one. The team from the Classic City responded with a classic performance. Running the football at will, dominating defensively and excelling on special teams, Georgia overwhelmed Vanderbilt with a traditional throwback effort, a tried-and-true approach for the red-and-black. The Bulldogs, Saturday night, were at their best, an important distinction as Georgia continues to win football games an old-school way in the modern era.   

What the Bulldogs did on the ground in Nashville resonates, even at at a place like RBU. Georgia ran 40 times for 323 yards and two touchdowns, averaging a remarkable 8.1 yards per carry. The Bulldogs led the SEC in rushing a year ago and did not average over even seven yards an attempt in a single Power Five game. In Nashville, Georgia, using multiple backs behind the nation's premier offensive line, was simply unstoppable. With a long run of 36 yards, there was no dramatic outlier, either. The Bulldogs simply moved the chains on nearly every single run. D'Andre Swift led the way with 16 carries for 147 yards.   

The front five, for Georgia, continues to star. At positions generally regarded as unheralded and unspectacular, the powerful play of the Bulldogs' offensive line draws constant attention to the line of scrimmage. In many ways, Georgia's front is the foundation for the entire team. So much of what the Bulldogs did, do and have done, from quarterback Jake Fromm's efficiency to the rotating of productive running backs, starts in the trenches. This could prove to be an all-time great unit.       

Notably, the Georgia defense also did its part. Facing an opposing unit with multiple all-conference honorees, the Bulldogs completely dominated from start to finish, allowing just 225 total yards and keeping Vanderbilt out of the endzone. Even with the Commodores compiling just over one-quarter of their total offensive yardage on an inconsequential final drive, Georgia still gave up an average of merely 3.4 yards per pass and 3.9 yards per rush. The Bulldogs allowed Vanderbilt to muster just three drives of longer than 21 yards all game long, the final possession included.

How well Georgia limited the Commodores' standout playmakers was quite impressive. The Bulldogs held the SEC's active receptions leader in Kalija Lipscomb to just eight yards on three catches. All-American tight end candidate Jared Pinkney had merely two grabs for eleven yards, his lowest total since 2017. Star running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who rushed for 1,244 yards and 12 touchdowns at over 7.9 yards per carry for Vanderbilt in 2018, was limited to only 74 yards.    

New offensive coordinator James Coley and new defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, both promoted from within, impressed in their debuts. Game one was a continuation of a specifically-designed championship contender.

This is a complete Georgia football team, one that can and will do it all. The offensive versatility, utilizing talents like James Cook and Demetris Robertson, comes with endless options. Defensively, the Bulldogs have the athletes to shift roles and responsibilities. Quarterback to kicker, as Rodrigo Blankenship was perfect once again, Georgia, albeit very early on, has the look of one of the elite few national favorites. Such is the status quo. Importantly, the Bulldogs have a specific style as well.

Kirby Smart knows what it takes to win and how he wants to do it, too.

Simply put, game one was a vintage showing from Georgia as everything was on-brand for the Bulldogs. As many teams in college football continue to search for the latest trend, Georgia is committed to an identity. Think back about 40 years.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports