PASSING OFFENSE: B
Vanderbilt completed 19-of-29 attempts for 273 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Playing in only the first half, Austyn Carta-Samuels completed 14-of-22 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown. That scoring toss came on a 39-yard pass to Jordan Matthews with 2:52 remaining in the second quarter. Earlier in the game Carta-Samuels completed what appeared to many observers to be a touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews in the first half but officials didn't see it that way. In the second half Josh Grady took over as quarterback and appeared to be doing well moving the offense until he completed a pass to guy wearing a red jersey. Grady, who completed 1-of-2 passes for nine yards, made his only completion to Jordan Cunningham, who caught seven balls during the game. Patton Robinette threw crisp, accurate passes during his stint as QB. Robinette completed 4-of-5 passes for 41 yards. He completed single passes to Dillon van der Wal, Cunningham, Trey Wilkins and Latevius Rayford. Cunningham led the Commodores in catches with seven for 67 yards. Jordan Matthews was second with six for 111 yards and the one touchdown that was actually counted. Jonathan Krause had the longest catch of the game, a 56-yarder in the first quarter. Krause made it to the Peay 4-yard line before a defender grabbed his jersey and held on for dear life. Vandy's offensive line gave up no sacks during the game.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C
Vanderbilt rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries (4.8 YPC) during the game. Brian Kimbrow and Jerron Seymour each had 41 yards on eight and nine carries respectively. Each scored a touchdown. Austyn Carta-Samuels continues to show that he is not afraid to run the ball. The Californian had four carries for 23 yards and two touchdowns. Robinette ran for 20 yards on three carries. Wesley Tate, the starting tailback for the game, had only five carries for 17 yards (3.4 YPC). The Commodores had no fumbles during the contest. The reason for the 'C' grade is that with three co-first stringers in Tate, Kimbrow and Seymour, you'd expect more than 169 yards against an FCS team.
PASSING DEFENSE: A
The Commodores limited Governor starting quarterback Andrew Spivey to just 7-of-11 completions for 37 yards. His longest pass went for just nine yards. Spivey's backup, Timar Mitchell (4-of-5, 17 yards) fared little better. Vanderbilt's defense terrorized APSU's quarterbacks all night. Defensive end Jimmy Stewart piled up two sacks for 15 yards. Fellow ends Caleb Azubike and Walker May each had a sack. Vanderbilt now has eight sacks for the season, which is pretty darn good. Actually good for a tie for No. 4 nationally in that defensive category. Although Vandy didn't have an interception, the team did come up with two broken up passes, one by Kellen Williams and the other by Karl Butler.
RUSHING DEFENSE: B
Peay rushed for 85 yards on 34 carries for a 2.5 yard per carry average. However, if you re-add in the 31 yards lost by the Govs due to sacks of quarterbacks, the Govs really gained 116 yards rushing, hence the 'B' grade. In the fourth quarter Peay running back Tim Phillips ran for 48 yards to the Vandy five. Thank goodness Paris Head was able to tackle him or it would have been a touchdown. The Govs did get a field goal out of it, their first score of the 2013 season. Williams led Vandy with nine tackles including four solos. Karl Butler finished with four tackles, a pair them solos.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Carey Spear made a 25-yard field goal but missed another from 38 yards. Spear also kicked off for Vandy seven times and five of them were touchbacks. Punter Taylor Hudson boomed a punt 63 yards in the first quarter and finished with an over 48 yard average. Jonathan Krause returned 5 punts for 32 yards and had one that went 17 yards.
What can you say? James Franklin accomplished what he needed to. A) He got the win B) He got the starters out of the game early without catastrophic injury C) He developed younger players and found some playmakers (See Jordan Cunningham). D) He won with class.
OVERALL GRADE: B
I've seen many games against FCS teams where Vanderbilt was thrilled to pull out a win. Furman (17-10 win) in 1978 comes to mind. I was there in 1979 as a teenager when the Citadel came into Vanderbilt Stadium (then Dudley Stadium) and went home with a 27-14 win. Technically Citadel wasn't a Division I-AA team yet, but we knew that Vanderbilt wasn't supposed to lose to them. There's been many close calls against UT-Chattanooga. Just a few years ago Vandy struggled to a 19-7 win over Eastern Kentucky. The point is these teams can beat you, just ask the seven FBS teams that lost to FCS teams in week 1. They can't be taken lightly. The 'Dores got the job done but things will get tougher in week 3. You see, a trip to Columbia, South Carolina to face the Gamecocks is in store.
Vanderbilt Report Card: Austin Peay
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