#3 Georgia Bulldogs v Vanderbilt Commodores
Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Score: #3 Georgia (45), Vanderbilt 14
5 Things We Learned
1) Georgia Running Back Nick Chubb is special
Chubb continues to put on a clinic as a ball carrier, and his game translates remarkably well to the next level. He showcased outstanding patience and vision in the game and was a dominant weapon for the Bulldogs offense. Chubb has that “it” factor as he can diagnose where the running lanes are, and he has the lateral quickness and burst to get through the line of scrimmage unscathed. He displayed this ability throughout the game, and even runs that looked simple (like his second touchdown run in the game) were made to look simple because of his innate ability to process information and react instantly to take the ball to a different running lane. Chubb runs with outrageous power and he wins in the hole at the line of scrimmage and because he runs behind his pads, he can get into the second level clean with his speed built up. Chubb also showed the ability to make a subtle lateral cut with remarkable quickness, and then the burst to get up to top speed to run away from the defense. He is explosive at the point of attack and always falls forward to gain that extra yard on almost every carry. Chubb can run through arm tackles of anyone on the field, and his leg drive is outstanding. He can push the pile to gain extra yards. Chubb’s game is all about being patient and waiting for the right time to hit the hole, and his ability to process information to hit the hole at the right time maximizes his efficiency and that makes him remarkable dangerous as a runner. You can see him wait out a play, read the hole before it is opening and burst through the hole with remarkable quickness, and then he is gone. The long speed is still a question, but he is so efficient and leaves no yards behind. Chubb is a technician as a running back and doesn’t necessarily need to run away from defenders because he is so effective when winning at the line of scrimmage and running into openings that most runners would not see.
2) Georgia Linebacker Roquan Smith is impressive
Smith is a fantastic athlete with the ability to break down in space to make plays in the open field. He has ridiculous range to get from sideline to sideline and can run down plays from behind because he takes excellent angles to the ball. Smith is too quick to read the run that teams really shouldn’t test him to the outside on his side of the field. He is sound in coverage, and he gets out of his pedal quickly. In this game, he was covering a tight end and at the stem the tight end pushed off and jolted Smith back about a yard (maybe a touch more), and Smith showed excellent quickness to get out of his pedal and break up the pass. He also showed that he is sound in coverage running with underneath routes as his quickness allows him to stay tight in coverage. Smith also blows through gaps with ease and could be seen in the opposing backfield multiple times in the game. He is tough to handle when he is attacking gaps because he plays with good power with his stunning quickness.
3) Georgia Running Back Sony Michel is a play maker
Michel is a version of quickness to Chubb’s version of power, but the truth is that both are powerful runners with excellent quickness. Michel is a very different type of runner than Chubb and is a little more electric on the perimeter where Chubb wins between the tackles. Michel also looks like a very good route runner and even when not targeted, he could be seen running open and setting up defenders by shortening his stride and then bursting away from them. Michel looks to have strong spatial awareness and an understanding of how to get open and to stay open. Michel has thick legs and runs with good power and is tough to get to the ground out in space. Michel showcases the “one cut and go” ability to hit the home run, but it is unfair to label him a finesse runner as he shows excellent leg drive and power to go with that explosiveness.
4) The Georgia defense should keep the Bulldogs in contention
The Georgia defense is littered with players that have speed and play with power in their front seven. Senior edge defender Davin Bellamy has prototypical length and size for the position, and he is an all-effort type player. Bellamy jumped offsides on one play, but he stayed with it and tracked down a receiver that caught a swing pass to Bellamy’s side of the field. He was playing with a massive cast on his left hand, and that appeared to limit his ability to rush the passer. Bellamy is very active and has good range, but appears limited and lacking flexibility/bend as a pass rusher. Lorenzo Carter (senior edge defender) is another player that shows good play speed and power and that makes him disruptive. He is naturally athletic and can turn the corner with speed and explosiveness. He is built a little lower to the ground and Bellamy and uses that as a leverage advantage. Senior Safety Dominick Sanders is extremely physical and takes on blocks well when he steps into the box to defend the run. He showed good ability to get from the middle of the field to the numbers to break up a pass. Sanders displayed strong recognition skills to read run versus pass and closes forward quickly to come into the box and defend the run. One thing that stands out negatively is that he tends to want to tackle like a missile without his arms and hands. There are technical flaws with him as a tackler, and he will need refinement in this area. Sanders was not challenged much in this game in the deep part of the middle of the field.
5) Miscellaneous Thoughts
Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker (junior) looked physical and showed excellent recovery speed when he was beaten at the line of scrimmage to get back into position to make a play on the ball. He is solid in run support, but the Vanderbilt offense did not test him much in coverage in the game. Bulldogs linebacker Juwan Taylor (junior) started and showed very good physicality and range, and when he arrived at the ball, he brought some pop to finish the play. Georgia left tackle (senior) Isaiah Wynn looks to have heavy feet but is very stout as a run blocker. He is dominant when he is down blocking defensive tackles and showed good ability to pick up on games the defensive line was playing, at one point passing off a defender to his guard to pick up a delayed blitzer. He also showcased the ability to drop his hips and anchor against power. Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb (redshirt senior) plays with nice quickness and hits the hole with authority. He runs with good quickness showed excellent balance at times. Vanderbilt linebacker Oren Baker (redshirt senior) was tasked with stopping an extremely potent running game, and Baker did a solid job with his run fits in the game. He does an excellent job of filling gaps with power and seems to get the ball carrier to the ground consistently. He appeared sound in run defense, and in the red zone, he came off the edge to get Michel to the ground after a short gain.