UGA defensive coordinator has nothing but nice things to say about Vanderbilt

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 11:22pm

Todd Grantham let his emotions boil over in a heated shouting match with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. 

Eighteen months later, Georgia’s defensive coordinator doesn’t believe he has much left to say about the postgame altercation at Vanderbilt Stadium in 2011.

At LP Field Wednesday night with Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox as part of the UGA Days tour, Grantham chose to let bygones be bygones.

“That’s for you guys [media],” Grantham said with a smile. “That is so long ago. We’ve already played a game since then and kind of moved on. That was something that happened a couple years ago. I think pretty much we’ve addressed it and kind of moved on.”

On Oct. 15, 2011, Vanderbilt lost 33-28 to Georgia after two late heaves to the end zone came up short. As the teams crossed the field afterwards, replays showed Franklin pointing and shouting at Georgia safety Shawn Williams, who had been penalized twice for personal fouls.

Franklin said he went looking for head coach Mark Richt to address actions he felt were inappropriate and instead found Grantham. The two exchanged words and had to be separated by a Vanderbilt police officer and Commodore tight end Austin Monahan.

“I think it is a competitive moment,” Grantham said on Wednesday. “I’m proud of my guys. I believe in my players, and I’m going to stand up for them. I don’t think it is any more than that.”

The dispute appeared to have no bearing in last year’s game — at least in terms of in-game or postgame drama. Georgia’s actions spoke louder than words as the Bulldogs whipped Vanderbilt 48-3 in Athens, handing Franklin his worse loss in his two years as head coach.

Georgia finished last year 12-2 and tied for fifth in the final AP poll. The Bulldogs are favored to repeat as SEC East champs after being just a touchdown short of playing in the national championship game.

Grantham expects the SEC East to be even tougher this season with South Carolina and Florida in the top 10 and Vanderbilt ranked 23rd. Georgia will aim for its seventh straight win over Vanderbilt when the teams meet on Oct. 19 in Nashville.

But Grantham says he had noticed signs of a bright future for the Commodores, even before Franklin and company arrived.

“I think the previous staff did a tremendous job, too,” Grantham said. “They were always right around the .500 range and then at the end there it didn’t quite go the way it did for whatever reason. The new staff has come in and tried to go back to having it the way it was. They compete and they’re very competitive. They have been in a lot of ballgames.

“Obviously it is a team you’ve got to prepare for and be ready for. Because if you don’t prepare during the week you’re going to get beat on Saturdays. That is a credit to the staff there for what they’ve done.”


2 Comments on this post:

By: 4gold on 5/9/13 at 8:41

Just love the way every school in the SEC seems to find the need to go fan stumping through Vancerbil's home town. God forbid Vanderbilt ever fill its own stadium with Vandy fans. A town of transplant job suckers that don't support the local team. SAD.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: 4gold on 5/9/13 at 8:45

Hope Vandy can find a QB. I think they have caught up and passed some SEC programs if they can just replace Jordon Rodgers. Don't understand why Nashville doesn't support them. VU's #2 ranked baseball team has drawn pitiful this year and they seriously could win a national championship.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!