The 13th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs needed a breather. Winless Vanderbilt obliged.
Two-way starter Champ Bailey turned two screen passes into touchdowns and set up two other scores Saturday as Georgia cruised to a 31-6 victory over the Commodores.
Bailey, an All-Southeastern Conference cornerback last season, made his third start at wide receiver this season, catching a 29-yard TD pass from freshman quarterback Quincy Carter to cap a 17-point first quarter for the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC). He added a 44-yard TD catch in the third period and finished with five catches for 130 yards.
Georgia raced to a 17-0 first-quarter lead helped by several mistakes by Vanderbilt (0-6, 0-4), which has lost 11 consecutive games and 22 in a row in the SEC.
The Bulldogs, coming off a 22-3 loss to No. 3 Tennessee that dropped them from No. 7 in the AP poll, opened the scoring with a 44-yard field goal from Hap Hines. Carter threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Tony Small for the Bulldogs' other first-period score.
Despite the easy victory, Bailey said Georgia didn't consider Vanderbilt a breather and didn't take it lightly.
"We take every week seriously. If we had come out flat today, they would have beat us. They played tough. We didn't beat them that bad," he said.
"It was a big win. It gave us a chance to get our confidence back after the Tennessee game," Bailey said. "We din't come out with our heads down after that loss."
Georgia coach Jim Donnan agreed.
| Vanderbilt didn't have a prayer Saturday against Hap Hines and Georgia. (AP) |
"We played one of the worst games I've ever been involved in last week," he said. "Tennessee had a lot to do with it, but it helps get the bad taste out of your mouth."
"We did play a little more organized, but of course the caliber of play was a lot better (last week). But I do feel like Vanderbilt is improving," Donnan said.
Vanderbilt coach Woody Widenhofer felt that way, too.
"You might think I'm crazy, but I feel better about this team now more than I did the past few weeks," he said. "Our kids didn't quit and we hung in there. We gave up 17 points in the kicking game, and you can't do that against a good football team."
Georgia's Glenn Ford blocked Joe Webb's punt and recovered it in the air, then raced 46 yards for a TD with 10:31 left in the half, giving the Bulldogs a 24-0 halftime lead over the four-touchdown underdogs.
Georgia has two key games upcoming -- Saturday at Kentucky against Wildcats quarterback Tim Couch, and then against No. 5 Florida the following week.
Bailey, a junior who leads the Bulldogs in receiving -- 26 catches for 483 yards and five TDS -- ran 20 yards to Vanderbilt's 26 after Webb fumbled the snap on the game's first punt, giving Georgia the ball at Vandy's 46. Four plays later, Hines kicked a 44-yard field goal 2:32 into the game.
A 28-yard punt by Webb to the Commodores 39 set up Small's TD reception after Bailey's 29-yard reception put the ball on the Vandy 10.
Jon England, who took over for Carter following the freshman's 29-yard scoring pass to Bailey with 2:46 gone in the second period, connected with Bailey on the 44-yard TD with 8:07 left in the third period.
Donnan said he took Carter out early to protect an injured left shoulder the quarterback received against Tennessee. He said Carter should be 100 percent for next week's Kentucky game.
England was 6-of-13 for 96 yards with one interception and one TD before leaving in the fourth quarter in favor of third-stringer Mike Usry.
Vanderbilt's td came with 4:24 remaining in the third period on a 36-yard pass from Greg Zolman to Adam Ditto, capping a 72-yard drive in seven plays.
Carter was 3-of-6 for 62 yards in a little more than a quarter. He has eight TD passes for the season.
Running back Jasper Sanks, Georgia's highly regarded freshman hampered by an ankle injury, made his debut with the Bulldogs with 6:53 left in the second period. He ran four times for 10 yards on two series. He didn't play again until the fourth quartr, when he had a 28-yard run -- Georgia's second-longest by a running back this season. He wound up with 57 yards on nine carries.
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