The new Bulldog mascot was unveiled before the game.
“I have a bulldog at home, so I was trying to get him where my bulldog likes it, right behind the ear,” Durham said.
Durham, meantime, was getting plenty of love from teammates after yet another big game.
The senior led Georgia with four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. He also made a 22-yard catch in triple coverage, holding onto the ball despite being hit.
“I’ll have to go back and look, because I was asked if that was the best catch I’ve ever made. I don’t know. I haven’t seen it,” Durham said. “I just saw the ball.”
There was some uncertainty if Durham’s production would keep up after the return of A.J. Green, for Georgia’s fifth game. But Durham has remained a focal point of the offense.
“I think he’s the most underrated receiver in the SEC,” Green said. “I’m just glad to have him on my team. He’s gonna help me out.”
Replayed in their minds
First Christian Robinson thought he had scored a defensive touchdown, only to have it overturned on replay. Then Akeem Dent thought he had one too, only to have it overturned.
At that point Robinson and Dent approached Marcus Dowtin, their fellow inside linebacker, and said it was his turn.
“You’re the next guy, guess you better make a pick,” Robinson said he told Dowtin.
Robinson’s non-score happened in the first quarter. He picked up an apparent fumble by Vanderbilt tight end Mason Johnston and ran about 35 yards into the end zone. But replay officials ruled that Johnson never completed the catch.
“I was so excited. I was thinking about my family, my Dad had a pick in college, the only one that he took back, and I was just thinking about him because it was very similar, he also took it up the sideline,” said Robinson, whose father Ken played at South Carolina. “It was disappointing, but I know we’ll have other opportunities. You know, other guys do that. It’s a memory I won’t forget.”
Dent recovered a muffed punt in the back of the end zone in the second quarter. It was quickly overturned, as replays showed Dent was out of bounds, and instead it was ruled a safety.
“It was a good call either way,” Dent said. “Either it was gonna be seven points, or it was two points and we go the ball back.”
Malcome to redshirt, hopefully
Freshman tailback Ken Malcome did not play, meaning the Bulldogs will do their best to make sure he is able to take a redshirt this season. Malcome was prepared in practice to play in case backup Carlton Thomas couldn’t play, but Thomas’ hamstring was healthy enough.
When the game got out of hand, fullbacks Fred Munzenmaier and Zander Ogletree got the carries.
"I wasn't really interested in playing Ken Malcome for just a short amount of time," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "And then Caleb comes back and Carlton gets healthy and all that kind of thing. More than likely we won't play Ken unless we absolutely have to. I think he was happy it turned out that way too."
Senior Josh Davis, demoted from the starting unit two weeks ago, got a lot of work at right tackle. When Davis played, freshman Kenarious Gates came out and Clint Boling shifted from right tackle to right guard.
But Richt indicated it was only for depth reasons.
"The starting lineup we like," Richt said. "It takes a little pressure off of Gates, (and) I think it takes a little pressure off (left tackle Trinton) Sturdivant not to have to play every snap."
Davis steps in for Bailey
Last week it was Boss Bailey, the former Georgia linebacker, giving a pregame speech. This week it was Thomas Davis, now with the Carolina Panthers, who stopped by to lay into his former team.
“(Davis) let them understand that it’s hard to build a certain tradition of how we want to play defense or how we want to play football,” Richt said. “I think some of the old guys were thinking we were really letting that slip away a little bit.”