Georgia's last trip to Vanderbilt got ugly

Georgia's last trip to Vanderbilt got ugly

October 16th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch (88) reacts after making a touchdown catch against the South Carolina in Athens, Ga.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ga. -- A few seconds after Georgia's 33-28 win at Vanderbilt two years ago, Bulldogs tight end Arthur Lynch was shaking hands and conversing on the field with former Commodores tight end Austin Monahan.

"We turned around and saw this scuffle," Lynch said Tuesday. "We just kind of looked at it and disregarded it. Obviously it became a much bigger deal after the fact."

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham got into a heated exchange, which followed a frantic finish in which the Bulldogs survived a blocked punt in the final minute. Earlier in the game, former Georgia safety Shawn Williams and former Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart drew flagrant personal fouls, and former Georgia noseguard Kwame Geathers was penalized for punching Stewart.

Williams, Stewart and Geathers were suspended for the first half of their next game, but the SEC announced that the confrontation between Franklin and Grantham would be handled internally between the league and two schools.

"I was right there when it all went down," Georgia defensive lineman Garrison Smith said. "The game ended with emotions high, and games can end like that. It was high intensity between two teams that wanted to win."

Georgia's defenders used the 2011 shouting match as motivation last season, drubbing the Commodores 48-3 inside Sanford Stadium. Franklin joked before last year's game that his family and Grantham's family went to Disney World together and hung out at the pool drinking Mai Tais.

Franklin was not asked about the skirmish during Monday's news conference, but Lynch believes the veteran Commodores will relay that event to younger players.

"Of course they're going to use it as motivation," Lynch said. "We probably played our most complete game against Vanderbilt last year."

Ready for Rumph

Bulldogs junior college receiver Jonathon Rumph is expected to make his season debut this weekend. Rumph enrolled in January and had two touchdown catches in April's G-Day game, but he has been bothered by a hamstring injury in recent weeks.

"We've just got to see by the end of the week how comfortable he is and how comfortable we are with what he knows and what we think he can execute," coach Mark Richt said. "He was here in the spring, which was great, but when you don't have a lot of reps early in your career -- we're just not really sure how many plays he's going to play.

"We want to get him going, that's for sure."

Richt said another junior college signee, safety Shaqullie Fluker, will redshirt this season.

Odds and ends

Georgia has allowed an average of 330.96 yards in the 47 games Grantham has been coordinator after allowing an average of 306.73 in the 64 games under predecessor Willie Martinez. ... Inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera on his roughing-the-passer penalty last week: "I didn't kick myself. We got a three-and-out right after it." ... Freshman tailback Brendan Douglas said he had to perform about 30 "up-downs" as a result of fumbling at Missouri's 6-yard line just before halftime. ... Georgia has won 17 of the last 18 against Vanderbilt and leads the series 53-18-2. ... Richt said Collin Barber and Adam Erickson are vying for punting duties this week and that a starter may not be named until pregame warmups. ... Vanderbilt redshirt junior defensive end Kyle Woestmann on whether being one of 19 Georgians on the Commodores roster gives him added juice this week: "I would say yes, but the coaches who gave me that extra juice have left Georgia."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.