Georgia vs. Vanderbilt: Why Austyn Carta-Samuels Should Scare Dawgs' D

Brian JonesContributor IOctober 17, 2013

Sep 21, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels (6) throws a pass during the second half against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

There is no secret that the Georgia Bulldogs are struggling on defense.

Quarterbacks such as Tajh Boyd and James Franklin carved up the Georgia defense, which is one of the reasons why UGA lost to Clemson and Missouri.

The Bulldogs face Vanderbilt on Saturday, and it’s a team that is still looking for its first conference win this season. The Bulldogs come into the game as a favorite, but they have to be careful of quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels.

The Commodores offense has been solid, averaging 33 points and 425 yards per game. Most of their offense comes through the air, which is where Carta-Samuels comes in.

Carta-Samuels Stats vs. SEC Opponents
Ole Miss30022
South Carolina14711

The senior quarterback has thrown for more than 300 yards in three of his six games. That makes him the first Vandy quarterback since Jay Cutler in 2005 to have multiple 300-yard passing games in one season.

Carta-Samuels threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns against Ole Miss in the opener, 334 yards and two touchdowns in the win against UAB, and 338 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Missouri.

This can’t bode well for the Bulldogs because they have been one of the worst pass defenses in the country. They give up 259 passing yards per game and have also allowed 12 passing touchdowns, which is the third most in the conference.

Carta-Samuels is known for having a strong arm, and that’s why he is able to throw for a lot of yards. With Jonathan Krause and Jordan Matthews on the outside, the Vandy quarterback can throw downfield, which leads to numerous big plays.

The Bulldogs secondary has been suspect to giving up the big play on defense. The secondary is young and has had to fight through injuries all season. But as a group, it only has one interception through the first six games of the year.

The secondary has had trouble with coverage, communication and assignments, and Carta-Samuels will have a field day with the Bulldogs if the unit is not careful.

Sep 21, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Massachusetts Minutemen defensive lineman Kevin Byrne (93) dives to try and tackle Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels (6) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

That said, he will make his share of mistakes. He has thrown six interceptions this year, while last year’s quarterback, Jordan Rodgers, only threw five all season. But Carta-Samuels is an aggressive signal-caller who will take chances.

The Bulldogs should be worried about Vanderbilt because of Carta-Samuels. He is a veteran who can make a big play at any time.

The key for Georgia is ball control. The Bulldogs have to sustain drives and limit mistakes. If they can do that, then Carta-Samuels will have a limited amount of time to score on a struggling Bulldogs defense.