Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. LSU

The game is over now: LSU 27, Vanderbilt 3. VandyMania.com analyzes every element of the Commodores' performance and assigns a grade to each area.


Vanderbilt
3

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LSU
27

AREA
GRADE
COMMENTS
PASSING OFFENSE
D
Only 8 completions on the night and the longest went for just 22 yards. LSU piled up 6 sacks to force Vanderbilt into frequent punting situations. Larry Smith has got to do a better job getting rid of the ball and the offensive line must protect him better. On the bright side Smith did not throw an interception. Brandon Barden now has 66 career receptions after catching 5 passes for 38 yards on Saturday night.
RUSHING OFFENSE
D+
The strength of the Commodores' offense did little to help Vandy's cause as Vanderbilt had only 65 net gained rushing yards. Vanderbilt running backs managed only 7 runs that went for more than 5 yards. Warren Norman's 51-yard gallop was the highlight of the night for Vandy and kept the 'Dores from being shut out.
PASSING DEFENSE
B
The Commodore passing defense was much improved compared to the opening game. The Vandy secondary held the Tiger's passing game to only 112 total yards. Casey Hayward had an interception in the end zone that kept LSU from getting even more points. T.J. Greenstone had a 6-yard sack of LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson.
RUSHING DEFENSE
C-
Early on in the game the Vandy rushing defense was solid but eventually the Tigers began to pound the ball at the VU defense as they realized their passing attack wasn't what the thought it would be. The LSU rushing attack eventually broke the Vanderbilt defense's back to the tune of 50 carries for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns led by Stevan Ridley who had 159 yards. Sean Richardson led Vandy with 10 tackles followed by John Stokes who had 8.
SPECIAL TEAMS
B
After last week's poor performance the Commodore special teams were improved. Ryan Fowler, who missed an extra point and a field goal last week, made his only field goal attempt from 23 yards. Punter Richard Kent had 10 punts for a solid 42.1 average. His solid hang time enabled the Commodores to average almost 40 yards in net punting. Carey Spear put one of his kickoffs in the end zone but his second landed at the 16. Vanderbilt's coverage teams were solid and allowed no long LSU returns. Warren Norman coughed up a fumble on one of his returns which resulted in a LSU touchdown.
COACHING
D+
Nice job getting a handle on the special teams. The special teams and defensive game plans were solid and gave the team a chance. However, the offense continues to be riddled with costly mistakes and pitiful results. The goal of the game is to score and Vanderbilt...again...isn't doing very much of that.
OVERALL GRADE
C-
The offense isn't performing up to standard again while the defensive labors on the field for way too long. The next 3 games are crucial to Vanderbilt hopes for bouncing back and having a decent season. The time to gain momentum is now. Ole Miss, Connecticut and EMU are all games the Commodores should have a reasonable chance to win.


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