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October 19, 2013

Vanderbilt comes back to defeat No. 15 Georgia

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt used a 17-point fourth quarter comeback and a strong defensive effort throughout to knock off No. 15 Georgia 31-27 on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium.

The Commodores dominated time of possession and out-gained the talented Bulldogs 337-221 in a game that featured a number of twist and turns including the loss of both the momentum and its starting quarterback in the second quarter.

Redshirt freshman Patton Robinette replaced Austyn Carta-Samuels after the senior suffered a lower leg injury on a sack shortly after the Commodores committed what appeared to be a back-breaking turnover on a trick play just the series before.

The Maryville, Tennessee native completed 9-of-15 passes for 107 yards after taking a few series to get acclimated, and led the Commodores on three scoring drives in the games final 11 minutes.

Georgia helped out the Commodores on a few occasions, committing a pair of personal foul penalties and turned the ball over three times in the second half.

Vanderbilt recovered a muffed Georgia punt return on the Bulldog 36-yard line with 19 seconds to go in the third quarter and later scored on a Robinette 2-yard run to pull to within 27-21. The Commodores were aided on the drive by a Bulldogs personal foul penalty on a 4th and 4. Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson dislodged the ball from Vanderbilt receiver Jonathan Krause, but the hit was deemed as targeting by the SEC officials.
Vanderbilt moved a bit closer on its next series with a 40-yard field goal by kicker Carey Spear. The Commodore defense held Georgia's offense in check once again and forced a punt at the Bulldogs 32, but the snap sailed high on Bulldogs punter Collin Barber, who was lucky to recover the fumble at its own 13.

Running back Jerron Seymour ran to the left on the very first play of the Commodores ensuing possession, and galloped for a 13-yard touchdown to give VU the lead with less than three minutes to go. The sophomore finished with a game-high 89 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

The real story of the game however was Vanderbilt's defense as the maligned unit held All-American quarterback candidate Aaron Murray and the depleted Bulldogs receiving unit to just 114 yards through the air. The defense, led by sophomore linebacker Darreon Herring and senior safety Kenny Ladler, also stood up against the run during much of the second half.

The defense missed several turnover opportunities throughout the game, but created the mistake when it needed it the most as sophomore linebacker Jake Sealand stripped Brendan Douglas after a reception and Andre Hal recovered to all but end a Bulldog comeback. Safety Javon Marshall picked off Georgia's final Hail Mary attempt with no time of the clock to seal the victory.

Georgia took a 3-0 lead after the games second series, but Vanderbilt answered a few series with a 11-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a Seymour 4-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs later reclaimed the lead with a 8-play, 53-yard drive that was capped by the first of two Murray touchdown runs.

Vanderbilt later put together a 11-play, 69-yard drive in the second quarter and took a 14-10 lead with a 3-yard run by Carey Spear on a fake field goal attempt.

Following a Georgia three and out, the Commodores appeared to have things cooking again as the offense quickly drove 30 yards on three plays.

However, with an usual pre-snap formation that included the offensive line to the far left of the rest of the offense, Carta-Samuels screen attempt to Wesley Tate behind the line was picked off by an unblocked Shaq Wiggins, who ran untouched for a 39-yard touchdown to swing the game back in Georgia's favor.

Georgia extended the lead to 24-14 right before half time with a 10-play, 54-yard touchdown drive and the Bulldogs added a field goal midway to stretch the lead to 27-14.

The Bulldogs never really threatened after that drive as VU's defense held the offense to just 18 yards on 15 plays in the game's final 20 plus minutes.

Vanderbilt moves to 4-3 on the year with the victory and 1-3 in the SEC. Georgia falls to 4-3 and 3-2 in the league.

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