(AP) Vanderbilt rallies, upsets No. 15 Georgia 31-27
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
Vanderbilt finally has a Southeastern Conference victory this season, and the Commodores got their big upset using a backup quarterback and a very stingy defense.
Jerron Seymour ran for a 13-yard touchdown with 2:53 left, and Vanderbilt rallied from a 13-point deficit by scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter Saturday to beat No. 15 Georgia 31-27.
The Commodores (4-3, 1-3) got their first victory over Georgia in Nashville since 1991. They also snapped a six-game skid to the Bulldogs. They did it despite losing Austyn Carta-Samuels in the second quarter with an injured left leg that had him on the sidelines with crutches for the second half.
Georgia (4-3, 3-2) lost its second straight after failing to hold a 27-14 lead with 6:24 left following Marshall Morgan’s second field goal of the game. The Bulldogs had chances to rally, but Brendan Douglas fumbled after a catch with 1:59 left, and Aaron Murray was intercepted on the final play.
Torren McGaster started the comeback by recovering a fumbled punt by Damian Swann late in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Patton Robinette ran for a 2-yard TD, and Carey Spear kicked a 40-yard field goal. Seymour put Vandy ahead a play after Georgia punter Collin Barber could only fall on a high snap at his own 13.
Vanderbilt wound up holding the ball for more than 35 minutes and outgained Georgia 337-221 in total offense. The Commodores held Murray to just 114 yards passing.
Murray became the SEC’s career leader in total offense late in the first quarter with a 7-yard pass to Arthur Lynch. That put him a yard past Tim Tebow. Murray then finished off the drive with a 1-yard keeper, putting Georgia up 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The senior making his 48th career start also added a 2-yard TD just before halftime for a 24-14 lead. But with so many offensive players out with injuries, Murray couldn’t keep the Bulldogs’ hopes of an SEC East title alive.
Vandy’s comeback was helped by the second targeting penalty against Georgia in the game. Robinette’s TD came on a drive kept alive when officials flagged Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson for hitting Vandy receiver Jonathan Krause with his shoulder on an incompletion on fourth-and-4. Review kept Wilson in the game, but the penalty stood for a first down.
Georgia played without tailback Todd Gurley for a third straight game because of a sprained ankle, along with the other injured Bulldogs. The list grew longer as Bulldogs safety Josh Harvey-Clemons hurt his right foot in the first half and did not return.
Then Georgia defensive end Ray Drew was lost with 11:19 left in the second quarter. Officials flagged the defensive end for targeting when Drew hit Carta-Samuels after he threw a pass and pushed the quarterback to the ground.
Spear also ran for a 3-yard TD on a fake field goal in the second quarter, giving Vandy a 14-10 lead.
The Commodores had all the momentum as they forced Georgia three-and-out. Then they got too fancy, overloading the line wide left. Shaq Wiggins jumped the screen from Carta-Samuels from the side and returned the interception 39 yards for the TD and a 17-14 lead.
Carta-Samuels was knocked out of the game on the next series when sacked by Jordan Jenkins, one of three sacks by Georgia.