There was some question at the beginning of the University of Georgia's football season whether Russ, a not-direct-line descendant who nevertheless ascended to the role of Uga IX, could give UGA the juice it needed to succeed.
So far, Russ has fulfilled his responsibilities, as Georgia heads into its game against Vanderbilt with an unblemished 3-0 record. The Red and Black checks in with the pampered mascot as he continues his push through a high-pressure season.
High blood pressure certainly punctuated the end of last year's Georgia-Vandy matchup, as Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham had a heated tete-a-tete with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin. (It's on YouTube!) The Macon Telegraph's Seth Emerson reports that the altercation has been a motivator for Georgia players.
Grantham's not the only Bulldog headed for an awkward reunion with Franklin, though. Emerson reports that freshman linebacker Josh Dawson was committed to play for Vanderbilt last year, right up until signing day when he bailed for the Dawgs:
After Dawson's switch, Franklin told a group of Vanderbilt boosters that players who de-committed from their school were not "men of honor" or "men of integrity." He never specifically mentioned Dawson, but Dawson was the only player who de-committed from the Commodores this year on signing day.
In case anyone needs further motivation ahead of this week's matchup, look (or listen) no further than a new team fight song, "Go Dawgs (Sic 'Em Woof Woof Woof)," apparently written by the Terry College of Business. You can catch it here on Facebook.
And as for the actual on-field action? David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free Press says the Bulldogs are working to stop giving up big plays.
For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Bill King, if a motivated defense gets its job done Saturday, "the Georgia-Vandy series should be back to its normal boring self next year."
What do you think? Will Vanderbilt be a match for Georgia between the hedges this Saturday? Tell us in the comments.