The Standard Journal
North Murray grad McConkey shines in Georgia’s historic rout of Vanderbilt
The Southeastern Conference determined that last year’s Georgia-Vanderbilt football game in Athens would be a no-contest due to COVID-19 protocol preventing the Commodores from meeting the necessary roster requirements.
Saturday afternoon at Vanderbilt Stadium, the No. 2 Bulldogs delivered their own no-contest verdict with a 35-point first quarter in an eventual 62-0 thrashing. Freshman tight end Brock Bowers and redshirt freshman receiver Ladd McConkey, the former North Murray High School standout, each had touchdowns via receptions and end-around runs during Georgia’s onslaught within the first 15 minutes in Nashville.
The 62-point massacre was the largest in series history, topping the 47-0 win by the Commodores in 1901, and it was Georgia’s second-biggest SEC win behind the 75-0 pulverizing of Florida in 1942.
“I was proud of how our guys started,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said on a Zoom call. “I thought the turnout was incredible, as it normally is when we come up here. I thought our kids came out and started fast, and that was the goal all week. We played videos of Mike Tyson and talked about starting fast and playing to our standard, and I thought they did that.
“If you’re going to be elite as a team, you’ve got to be elite all the time and not some of the time. Our guys embraced that.”
Georgia (4-0, 2-0) racked up 532 yards while holding Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-1) to 77, and the outcome could have been much, much worse. Bulldogs starting quarterback JT Daniels played only the first quarter but was 9-of-10 passing for 129 yards and two touchdowns, while senior nose tackle Jordan Davis told the SEC Network after the rout that he played only nine snaps.
Bulldogs junior outside linebacker Nolan Smith admitted afterward that Georgia’s practices are “a lot” tougher than games, but Smart knows more demanding Saturdays are around the corner, beginning with next weekend’s visit by Arkansas.