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Georgia head coach Kirby Smart walks on the sidelines. Action from the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium as the Georgia Bulldogs take on the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, Sep. 25, 2021. (Photo/Zachary Tate, ztate@randb.com)

Georgia defeated Vanderbilt 62-0 to move to 4-0 on the season. Following the game, The Red & Black graded each position group’s performance.

Quarterback

JT Daniels got off to a fast start and didn’t play after the first quarter. He completed nine of 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and his one incompletion was a drop by Justin Robinson. Stetson Bennett threw an interception early in his relief appearance, but played well afterward to keep the Georgia offense running smoothly. Carson Beck threw only three passes as the third quarterback to see time for Georgia. Overall, it was a strong performance for the Bulldog quarterbacks.

Grade: A

Running backs

Georgia continues to rotate at the running back position with four backs receiving eight or more carries against the Commodores. Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh, James Cook and Daijun Edwards all averaged 4.4 yards per carry or more, but still struggled to find explosive plays on the ground. Georgia finished with 241 yards on the ground, but the longest run of the game was a 24-yard touchdown on a reverse to Ladd McConkey. The running game helped keep Georgia’s offense on schedule, but the lack of explosive plays is holding this group back for the moment.

Grade: A-

Receivers

Brock Bowers continues to impress every week, and his three touchdown performance against Vanderbilt was the best of his young career. Bowers once again led Georgia with four catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Ladd McConkey had his best game of the season as well, posting four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown as well as the 24-yard rushing touchdown. The receivers had a few mental lapses throughout the game, including drops by freshmen Justin Robinson and Adonai Mitchell, and a fumble by Mitchell that rolled out of bounds. There were also multiple missed blocks on the perimeter on quick screen passes that could’ve been more successful plays. The receivers were very good overall against Vanderbilt but will need to clean up those mistakes as Georgia moves into the tougher part of the schedule.

Grade: A-

Offensive Line

The offensive line had its strongest performance of the season, particularly in pass protection. Daniels and Bennett were given all day to throw when they were in the game, and several times were able to stand in the pocket and survey multiple options before making their throws. The line allowed zero sacks on the day. While the line wasn’t as dominant in the run game, they were still strong. They opened up holes for the various running backs, and the team finished averaging five yards per carry with 241 yards rushing. Broderick Jones is a name to remember as the season wears on. The redshirt freshman got some run at left tackle and looked the part, particularly in pass protection. He could be in line for increased usage over the remainder of the season, particularly if the Bulldogs decide to kick Jamaree Salyer in to left guard. Late in the game the line struggled with several pre-snap penalties, but by that point it was the third group of linemen in the game. For the offensive line, the run-blocking will be the main area that needs to improve going forward as the team seeks explosiveness in the run game.

Grade: A

Front seven

The Georgia front seven continues to look like the best position group on the entire team, and they were just as dominant as they’ve been throughout the first three weeks. What’s really impressive about this group is the depth and ability to rotate and still play at a high level. Defensive tackle Jalen Carter set the tone with a crushing tackle on the first third down of the day for the Vanderbilt offense, and the front seven never let up. Robert Beal Jr. had the only sack of the game for Georgia, but the D-line was consistently putting pressure on Vanderbilt’s quarterbacks. Channing Tindall and Nakobe Dean continue to lead a deep linebacker group, and the Bulldogs allowed only 77 total yards in the game. It was another dominant performance for the Georgia front seven.

Grade: A

Secondary

Georgia’s secondary responded after allowing several big plays last week against South Carolina. Vanderbilt’s quarterbacks were held to just 24 yards passing for the game. Christopher Smith got his second interception of the season while Kamari Lassiter got his first college interception. Kelee Ringo started in place of Ameer Speed and made a statement with two pass breakups and a strong all-around performance. The secondary made life difficult for the quarterbacks all game and held up just as well as the front seven today. Vanderbilt’s offense finished 2-13 on third down and earned just four first downs for the game. The whole Georgia defense was as good as the zero points allowed to Vanderbilt would suggest.

Grade: A

Special Teams

Kicker Jack Podlesny hit two field goals and eight extra points, going 10-10 on kicks for the day. While none of the kicks were from long distances, it was an encouraging sign to see Podlesny have a perfect game, as he has struggled at times early in the season. Punter Jake Camarda was only called on to punt twice, both coming in the fourth quarter. Both punts were from deep in his own territory, but the two 35-yard kicks were still not up to Camarda’s high standard.

Grade: A-