Three Keys Revisited - Vanderbilt vs. Mizzou

With the Tigers having rolled to a 4-0 start before visiting Nashville this looked like it was a game to be wary about. Saturday night was less about how Vanderbilt is still struggling to find an identity this year, and more about Missouri showing up a year late to the SEC party.

With the Tigers having rolled to a 4-0 start before visiting Nashville this looked like it was a game to be wary about. Saturday night was less about how Vanderbilt is still struggling to find an identity this year, and more about Missouri showing up a year late to the SEC party. This offense, with a healthy James Franklin, is lights out good, and it showed as the Tigers drove up and down the field on the 'Dores in the first half on their way to an unassailable 30-7 lead at the break.

Here are how the three keys panned out.

1) Stop the run - Fail

The Tigers had their back by committee approach working effectively as they shredded the Commodores for 245 yards on the ground. No one tailback had more than 14 carries, but four players had at least 40 yards and the team combined for 5.7 yards per carry. Henry Josey was the most workhorse like of the backs rolling for 69 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns, but it was the electric Marcus Murphy who had the highlight reel play as part of his 69 yards on just four totes of the rock. Franklin certainly did his damage on the ground too and one of the biggest takeaways from this young season is that if Vanderbilt wants to move up in the SEC pecking order they have to find a way to stop the quarterback run ASAP.

2) Don't let Dorial Green-Beckham take over - Pass

The Commodore defensive backs actually did a great job on Green-Beckham, keeping him under control by shifting coverage and hitting him whenever he was legal. The problem was that the rest of the receiving corps just had too much for the 'Dore defensive backs to the tune of four passing touchdowns for Franklin. Missouri has a wide receiver group that has to be among the tallest and the most physical in the country and not one of the four touchdowns was caught by a player listed at less than 6-foot-4. Senior L'Damian Washington was a particular problem for Vandy as he used his lanky frame to bring in three catches for 86 yards and two scores. Vanderbilt will be happy to see the back of this crew and their maddeningly consistent quick slant game plan.

3) More of Matthews - Pass and Fail

It is a pass because Matthews had 7 catches for 123 and a score, but yet it a fail because against this high powered of an offense Matthews would have needed north of 200 for Vandy to have a shot. It also hurt that the 'Dores spent most of the first half on the back foot in the trenches with Austyn Carta-Samuels running for his life and struggling to just 48 yards through the air. In the second half when the Tigers were playing it safe with a big lead Vanderbilt was able to pad the stats and feed Matthews the ball at will.

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