Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. Georgia

Georgia walloped Vandebilt 43-0 on Saturday in Athens. analyzes every element of the Commodores' performance and assigns a grade to each area.




It just wasn't Vandy's day. Brandon Barden made a nice 28-yard catch on the first drive but after that there was little to get excited about if you're a Commodore fan. On the second drive Barden dropped a pass from John Cole. Some say that Barden had fallen to his knees and was trying to get up so he wouldn't be ruled down as soon as he caught the ball. Not sure what happened after that second offensive series because from then on it wasn't much to talk about.
Vanderbilt runners actually gained 91 yards on the day. That snap out of the end zone cost the team a third of its rushing yards. Zac Stacy ran for 39 yards while Warren Norman added 23. Stacy had the longest run of the day for VU, a 14 yarder. The Commodores were never able to get big plays like they did against Ole Miss, UConn and Eastern Michigan.
Aaron Murray completed 15 of 27 passes for 287 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. At times Vanderbilt would have a receiver tightly covered but the Bulldogs would just make a play. Other times the UGA receiver would just be wide open. A.J. Green was limited to just 3 catches for 64 yards but had one that went for a 48-yard touchdown. Tavarres King and Kris Durham picked up his slack and combined for 8 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown. Sean Richardson, Casey Hayward and Jamie Graham all broke up passes. Vandy's defensive line did not register a sack.
This is the area that likely cost Vanderbilt the game. Vandy as a team has the ability to do much better than this poor showing. Running the football was Georgia's weakest link and the Bulldogs still gained 232 yards. Missed tackles, over-pursuit and arm tackling were wide spread on Saturday. Senior linebacker John Stokes showed up and finished with 11 tackles to lead the Commodores.
Richard Kent had several non-pooch punts that went 35 yards or under in distance and one went for 24 yards. He finally boomed one 54 yards late in the game. UGA didn't have much in the punt return department but when your opponent is only punting the ball 25-30 yards, who cares? Kent's great at getting hang time but he needs to get the punts to go at least 35 yards. Warren Norman returned 8 punts for 155 yards. His longest return went for 26 yards. Norman had 188 all purpose yards during the game. Warren Belin, Vandy's special teams coach from last season, was on the opposite sideline coaching the Georgia special teams and linebackers.
The coaches had some good plays drawn up, like the Cole pass, but the team just didn't execute them properly. However, this too falls on the coaches, it's their responsibility to use practice time effectively so players can get their assignments down. Hopefully the staff can get things fixed soon because half the season is already gone.
It was a disheartening loss for the entire Vanderbilt nation. The look on the player's faces as they walked off the field was downright scary. Now the challenge for the team and staff is to pick themselves up off the ground and move on as there is still a lot of football left to be played.

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