Johnny McCrary's 5 TD passes. Just like that Johnny Mac is in company with Jay Cutler and Bill Wade, the only other two Commodore QBs to throw for five touchdowns in a game. McCrary, still learning, has made sound decisions in his three most recent games. He doesn't necessarily have the most accurate arm but he is usually wise where he puts the ball. He's also good at avoiding tackles and should be able to stay healthy with his smart running. It's still early in his career but if he can maintain his current progress he'll break lots of records at Vanderbilt.
Commodore defense. It wasn't perfect but the Vandy defense held a team that averaged 33 points and 445 yards a game under its average. Particularly impressive was the fact that VU held a team that has converted 45 percent of its third downs to just 28.6 percent (2 of 7). The D also stuffed the Monarchs on both of their fourth down conversion attempts.
Coaching aggressiveness. Early on the Vandy staff made it clear they were going all out for the win. On its first drive the Commodores faced a fourth-and-3 at the ODU seven. Derek Mason could have easily sent out the field goal team but he realized the importance of getting touchdowns against a high scoring team like Old Dominion. On the next play McCrary connected with Nathan Marcus for a TD and Vandy led 7-0. Vandy would go for it on fourth twice more during the game, including once at its own 41. The Commodores finished a perfect 3-of-3 on fourth down conversions but more importantly 1-0 for the game.
THE BAD AND UGLY
Back-to-back fumbles on Vandy drives. The first two drives of the third quarter were nightmarish for Vandy. On the second play of the third quarter, McCrary didn't properly hand off the ball and a fumble resulted. Unfortunately Vandy was inside their own five at the time and the ODU was able to recover the fumble for a TD. On the 'Dores next drive they were at the ODU 14 and threatening to score. On third-and-6 the 'Dores tried some razzle dazzle that resulted in Kris Kentera attempting a pass. The play was blown up by ODU and the ball knocked from Kentera's hand before he could even attempt the pass. Fumble recovery for the Monarchs.
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