Vanderbilt Report Card: Ole Miss

Vanderbilt fell to Ole Miss 41-3 on Saturday in Nashville. VandyMania.com's Don Yates grades the Commodores' performance in several key team areas.

PASSING OFFENSE: F
It was a very poor performance by the Commodore passing attack. Stephen Rivers completed 6-of-25 passes for just 60 yards. Steven Scheu looks like he is going to be Vandy's third down receiver. He had a great catch in the first half that kept a Vandy drive going that later fizzled, and then made another key catch in the fourth quarter on third and long to keep a drive going. That drive was stuffed at the Rebel two though. Vandy's offensive line gave up one sack and Rivers was called for intentional grounding on another play where he was in the grasp when he threw the ball away.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D
For the second week in a row Ralph Webb averaged five yards or more per carry. Webb had a nice 28-yard run in the fourth quarter against mainly Rebel backups. He finished with 95 yards on 18 carries. I predict Webb will see his carry numbers grow as the season goes on. He's the only real bright spot on offense. Dallas Rivers also was affective gaining 23 yards on five carries (4.6 YPC). Jerron Seymour didn't play because, according to Coach Mason, he didn't appear at full speed in practice.

PASSING DEFENSE: F
Ole Miss piled up 367 passing yards with Bo Wallace getting the majority of that. Wallace completed 23-of-30 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown. Caleb Azubike had his first sack of the season in the first half and Vince Taylor notched a sack in the third quarter. Azubike finished with two sacks. Oren Burks, Nigel Bowden and Adam Butler all had pass breakups. Vanderbilt could do little to stop the Ole Miss passing onslaught and gave up way too many easy short pass completions because of their huge cushion that allowed Ole Miss receivers to run quick hitches for easy catches.

RUSHING DEFENSE: D
Ole Miss had five different players run for 20 yards or more while accumulating 180 yards rushing for three touchdowns. A lot of that yardage was gained in the second half when the Reb staff mercifully kept the ball on the ground to keep from running up the score. There were some good plays by VU players despite the poor showing. Zach Cunningham forced his first career fumble in the fourth quarter with Vince Taylor scooping up the fumble. That heads up play led to Vandy's only offensive score so far this season. Kyle Woestmann made a career-high eight tackles in the game surpassing his seven tackle effort against Ole Miss last season.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Colby Cooke got a good workout on Saturday. He punted well with seven punts going for an average of 47.6 yards. He had a long of 55 yards and put one inside the 20. I hate to say this, but I predict he'll break the all time Vanderbilt record for punting yards in a season. Tommy Openshaw made his collegiate debut in the fourth quarter, kicking a 26-yard field goal.

COACHING: F
Things did improve with some of the issues from the Temple debacle. Namely turnovers were much improved. However, the offense and defense as a whole were both ineffective. The offense is absolutely pathetic and the worst I've ever seen at Vanderbilt, this includes the Dowhower years. There is just no creativity in it or anything that's going to give Vandy a chance to manufacture scores. You'd think that with nine days to prepare the staff would have installed some play in the offense that would have given the team a chance to score on first and goal at the Ole Miss five but we saw nothing of the sort.

OVERALL GRADE: F
Just a pathetic overall performance by the team. Yes, the special teams were good and it's interesting that the only area that garnered an above average grade came in an area coached by the lone holdover from the previous staff. However, when you can't score at least a touchdown on offense or force a punt on defense, that's an 'F'.

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