NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Brendan Douglas looked physically abused after Georgia’s loss to Vanderbilt.
The freshman tailback flaunted gaping bruises along his arms while slouching in his chair amid physical exhaustion. When he did speak, it was only in whispers.
“Unacceptable,” Douglas said. “It’s unacceptable to do that.”
He was referencing a fumble he lost on what could’ve been a game-winning Georgia drive.
For the majority of the second half, Georgia’s offensive woes stemmed from missed opportunities. The Bulldogs had five total three-and-outs – four of which came in the final two quarters. It’s a large part of why Vanderbilt was able to inch its way back after falling behind 24-14 at the half.
The Commodores turned two of Georgia’s three-and-outs into touchdowns – scoring both in the fourth quarter.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said the offense remained relaxed when Vanderbilt began its march, but that the late fumble was quite costly.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot again,” Murray said. “We just didn’t get enough first downs in the second half. We were keeping our defense on the field way too long. And obviously those turnovers didn’t help either.”
Douglas’s fumble came on the heels of the play. He was almost down before making an extra effort on a drive that the Bulldogs needed a touchdown to survive.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said he couldn’t blame Douglas for extending the attempt.
“The longer you try to grind your feet, the more susceptible you are to the ball coming out,” Richt said. “He’s got good habits. Every once in a while, the ball gets knocked out. As a young back, he’ll learn to do a better job of securing the football.”
Other than the fumble, Douglas was one of the more reliable offensive players on Saturday, finishing with 84 yards on 17 carries (4.9 average).
The Vanderbilt defense, Richt said, did a great job of limiting Murray.
“They did a super job defending the pass,” Richt said. “They tackled well, they kept everything in front of them, they didn’t give up a big play.”
Despite being held to 114 passing yards and no touchdowns, Murray was able to utilize his mobility. He scored two touchdowns on the ground, his fourth and fifth of the season.
The Commodores also couldn’t keep Murray from penciling his name in the Southeastern Conference record books. Murray surpassed Tim Tebow for total offense (12,203 yards) in the first quarter on a routine, 7-yard pass to tight end Arthur Lynch.
He still needs three touchdown passes to eclipse Danny Weurffel’s all-time mark of 114.
“I’m not even thinking about that right now, man.” Murray said. “We really need to dig deep and get to work. We’ve still got five games left to go and a big rivalry game against Florida in a couple weeks. Our leaders are really going to have to step up.”