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October 15, 2011Vanderbilt's near-miracle comeback fell just short, as Georgia held the Commodores out of the end zone on the final drive of the game to escape Dudley Field with a 33-28 win in Nashville on Saturday night.
The Commodores, who trailed 20-7 at the half, pulled within five of Georgia on Zac Stacy's 19-yard touchdown run with 9:15 left in the game. With 2:30 left, Vandy's Casey Hayward intercepted Aaron Murray at the Vandy 2, but UGA's Baccari Rambo intercepted Jordan Rodgers and returned it to the VU 48 with 1:10 left.
That appeared to clinch the game for Georgia. But Vandy had two timeouts left, and forced a Bulldog fourth down with 15 seconds left. After a Georgia timeout, the Commodores' Udom Umoh broke free and blocked Drew Butler's punt, and after a scramble, Vandy's Steven Clarke recovered the ball at the Georgia 20 with seven seconds remaning.
But the Commodores couldn't capitalize. After VU's procedure penalty, Rodgers' pass to Chris Boyd into double coverage trickled off Boyd's fingertips in the end zone with one second left, and Rodgers' last attempt was deflected into the arms of Vandy's Brandon Barden, who was tackled at the 16.
The difference was mistakes--Georgia forced four turnovers to Vandy's one, and also blocked a punt deep in VU territory--and UGA's Murray, who completed 22 of 38 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns.
Two scores went to Marlon Brown, and another to Tavarres King. Blair Walsh added four field goals to account for the other Bulldog points.
Vandy's Stacy rushed for 97 yards on 17 carries, and threw a touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews in the first half. The Commodores' other two touchdowns came on Andre Hal's 96-yard kickoff return in the second half, and Jerron Seymour's 1-yard run late in the third quarter.
Georgia won its fifth-straight game, while Vandy has now dropped three in a row.