Both Sides Performed

Last week, in the opener against Boise, the defensive coaches were elated and the offensive coaches were a bit forlorn about the first three quarters before a fourth quarter explosion. This week, against Vandy, in a 41-3 Rebel win, all coaches were pleased.

"We were a little concerned about this one," said Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack, "simply because of our recent history here. We did not give Vandy's loss to Temple as their true selves.

"But our kids came out there and performed after having a terrific week of preparation. I am really pleased with the way we performed."

And well he should be. . .

The Commodores managed just nine first downs, several of those coming after most of the first-team Rebel defenders were taken out of the game.

The Dores could only muster 167 yards of offense on 50 plays and only converted 3-17 third downs.

In short, they were dominated.

"We gave up a few yards on the ground on their opening drive when we misfit some things, but we were able to adjust it and pretty much shut them down from there," Dave continued. "I was really happy with our secondary play and the pass rush we were able to get against what I thought was a pretty good offensive line.

"They only completed 6-25 passes and we had a pick six. Some of that was great coverage and some of it was making the quarterback throw before he was ready. It is twice as easy to call a game with the pressure our front can get with just four. It gives us so many options on what to call and we can keep mixing it up and confusing offenses."

Wommack emptied the bench, playing everyone on defense who made the trip.

"I will have to look at the film, but CB Kendarius Webster, DE Marquis Haynes and Husky A.J. Moore stood out to me of the newcomers," he noted. "And I was real happy about Cliff Coleman getting the pick six to start the second half. That young man has come a long way, academically, socially and as a player in the time we have been here."

Moving forward, Wommack wants to see continued maturity as the weeks click off.

"We have a chance to have a very good defense, but we have to keep working and show maturity and the want-to to keep getting better," he closed.

OC Dan Werner, unlike last week, also had a smile on his face.

"It all started with Bo Wallace. I didn't see anything even close to a bad decision," Werner began. "It showed in the stats. He was 23-30, no interceptions, 320 yards, one TD. I will take that every week."

Wallace repeatedly scorched the Vandy safeties with strikes in the middle of the field.

"Our run game was working just enough to get their safeties to bite up and that let the middle open. We just kept calling it because it was open whenever we wanted it," noted Dan. "Bo threw some great balls in the middle of the field and our receivers did a nice job of catching it consistently.

"We only had one drop and that was with a brand new receiver (Derick Jones) in the end zone. He will catch that 99-100 times. It was all set up by being able to run for nearly 180 yards. When you are able to do them both for positive yardage, you put up 41 points and it could have been a few more but for some false starts and a hold in the Red Zone. The run and the pass feed of each other."

Werner said there are still things to clean up, aka the Red Zone.

"We'll get that squared away. We had a good plan but the false starts and a hold can kill those drives," he noted. "We have to keep working to eliminate that. We had seven or eight false starts in the opener and two this time. We are gaining on it."

QB Ryan Buchanan and TB Eugene Brazley, of the first-timers, caught Werner's eye.

"Eugene came in and popped off a run or two where it looked like there was nowhere to run and he gains 10-15 yards. Ryan came in and immediately hit a really nice third-and-long and drove us right down the field. He also had some nice runs.

"Quincy Adeboyejo slumped a little bit in August, but he has caught everything thrown his way. He has made some big plays for us."

Werner said it is critical to get the young guys quality snaps in an early game and in an SEC game to boot.

"We wanted to do it last week, but we let Boise had around too long. This week, we made up our minds on Tuesday that a lot of them were going to play this week regardless and it will only pay dividends down the road," Dan stated.

The Rebs had 543 yards or total offense and were 10-14 on third down conversions.

Like Wommack, Werner turned his attention to the future quickly.

"It's all about week-to-week improvement. We improved a lot from week on to week two and now we need to do it again," he closed.

Vanderbilt didn't offer the challenge that was expected from the first SEC foe, but on the other hand, the Rebels didn't give them a chance to.

Nice outing on both sides of the ball.


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