Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. Georgia

In one of the most exciting and controversial games played at Vanderbilt Stadium in years, the Vanderbilt Commodores fell to Georgia, 33-28. analyzes every element of the Commodore's performance and assigns a grade to each area.




This aspect of the game likely cost Vanderbilt a victory. Commodore quarterbacks completed just 9-of-29 passes for 71 yards, 3 interceptions and no touchdowns. Yes, Vanderbilt did get some help in this area from Zac Stacy and Ryan Fowler who each completed a pass for a total of 78 yards and a touchdown. Vanderbilt's offensive line seemed to be improved, giving up only one sack; however, both Larry Smith and Jordan Rodgers had problems finding their targets. Larry Smith first interception with the Commodores at the Georgia 6-yard line was particularly devastating. Rodgers also had a costly pick in the Commodores next to last possession. Stacy had a really nice pass to Jordan Matthews for 43-yards to score a touchdown.
Georgia's defense held Tennessee to negative rushing yardage the week before in Knoxville. However, Vanderbilt finished with 200 yards rushing for two touchdowns. Stacy led the way with 97 yards and fleet footed Jordan Rodgers added another 80 yards. Rodgers had an impressive 40-yard run and displayed outstanding scrambling ability turning what would have been negative yardage plays into nice gains. Casey Hayward had an excellent run on the first series that was wasted with the costly interception. Jerron Seymour scored a touchdown on a 1-yard scamper and finished with 21 yards on five carries.
For the second consecutive week Vandy's supposedly strong secondary was torched. Aaron Murray had a career day going 22 for 38 for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns with just one interception (Casey Hayward). Marlon Brown had four catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. His 75-yard scoring reception early in the fourth quarter likely was the back breaker for Vandy even though the Commodores still ended up with a chance to win at the end because of special teams. Vandy's defensive line never sacked Murray. Safety Sean Richardson came with the only Commodore sack of the game.
Vandy's defense held Georgia to just 117 yards on 34 rushing attempts (3.4 ypc.). Prior to Saturday's game Georgia averaged 170 yards rushing per game. Isaiah Crowell, the Bulldogs fine freshman back, finished with just 35 yards on 10 carries. Richard Samuel added 53 yards on 15 carries. The Bulldogs did not score a touchdown on the ground. Chase Garnham finished with 9 tackles including five solos. The Commodore defense combined for nine total tackles for losses on the night for 29 lost Georgia yards.
Really up and down here. VU had a fumble that was fortunately recovered on the opening kickoff return by Andre Hal who later took one 96 yards to the house. Richard Kent had a nightmare game against his home state team. Kent shanked two punts and had one blocked, finishing with a un-Kent like 23.3 yard average. Kent was replaced by Ryan Fowler who had a long punt of 38 yards and finished with a 31 yard average. With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Vanderbilt came up with a huge blocked punt. Unfortunately the ball didn't bounce just right and couldn't be returned for a winning score. Carey Spear didn't attempt a field goal. Vanderbilt's kick/punt coverage teams were solid during the game.
Pretty solid. There were some breakdowns in the passing defense department and special teams that cost the team dearly. However, the fake punt and pass by Stacy were things of genius. No one saw that fake punt coming, especially with Fowler having just replaced Kent. James Franklin continues to coach like a veteran head coach.
It's was a great effort but all the mistakes of the first half couldn't be overcome. The team is learning to never give up no matter what. Issues need to be addressed regarding special teams and in the defensive secondary. A rested up, well coached Army team is licking its chops to get its second victory in three seasons over an SEC school.

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