Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina

South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt 21-3 on Saturday night. analyzes every element of the Commodore's performance and assigns a grade to each area.



South Carolina

Larry Smith completed 75 percent of his passes (16) for 44 yards. Problem was that most of his passes were little dump offs for negative or little yardage. Smith had an interception that should have been a 20-yard reception. SEC officials strike again just like in 2009 in Columbia when a incomplete pass was ruled a touchdown for South Carolina and the difference in what could have been a huge Vanderbilt road victory. Smith has got to learn to get rid of the ball sooner. He hangs on to the ball way too long sometimes which doesn't help Vandy's struggling offensive line. Jonathan Krause had nine catches for 55 yards. He would have had 10 had it not been for the aforementioned "pick". Hopefully Vandy can get Brandon Barden and John Cole back for 'Bama. The VU blockers gave up six sacks and allowed their quarterback knocked out of the game.
What rushing offense? The team finished with a paltry 4 yards rushing. If the offensive line could have prevented just one less sack that number might have been tripled. Zac Stacy had 18 yards rushing and freshman Jerron Seymour added 14 yards on a dismal rushing day against an average at best SEC defense.
Another great outing for the amazing Commodore secondary. Four interceptions while giving up 228 yards to Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia. A ton of those yards came from a catch and run by USC's Marcus Lattimore and a lucky long catch after a ball bounced out of the hands of a VU defender and into the hands of USC's Ace Sanders.
It was a solid job by Bob Shoop's bunch in holding the Gamecock's Lattimore to only 77 yards which is far better than any other team this season. Vandy's Chris Marve and Chase Garnham combined for 19 tackles in the spirited effort. When you consider that the VU defense was on the field for almost 10 more minutes than the Commodore offense it become even more impressive.
Carey Spear was dead on for another field goal, this time from 33 yards. Richard Kent had nine punts for an almost 42 yard average. One was downed on the Gamecock 4-yard line and another traveled 58 yards. Andre Hal had a 31-yard kickoff return. He did have one late in the game that he should have taken a knee with in the end zone but he was trying to make something happen since the offense wasn't producing. Coverage team play was solid.
James Franklin suffers his first loss as Vanderbilt head coach. Any loss hurts but there is nothing to be ashamed of in this loss. Vanderbilt's offense was already considered to be undermanned when fall camp started. Throw in that Brandon Barden, Warren Norman and John Cole-- three actual playmakers-- are missing along with veteran lineman Jabo Burrow's decision to give up football for health reasons and you have the makings for a drop-off in point production.
All in all it was another solid performance by the defense. Vandy still has not given up more than two touchdowns to opposing offenses in one game. Krause was the one bright spot offensively. He had Earl Bennett type receiving numbers. Vandy now has an extra week to heal and tweak its fledgling offense. The season is not lost and while there are rough waters ahead there are also at least 4 winnable games remaining on the schedule.

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