Three keys reviewed: Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky

Vanderbilt defeated Kentucky 21-17 on Saturday to improve to 4-6 (2-4 SEC) and keep its bowl hopes alive. Here are your three keys reviewed for Vanderbilt's game with Kentucky.

Key No. 1 Put the boom on Boom -- PUSH

Vanderbilt allowed Stanley "Boom" Williams 13 rushes for 115 yards; that's an average of 8.8 yards per carry! Things got a little scary late in the third quarter when Williams ran 66 yards to the Vandy 7.  He was run down by Tre Herndon, the same Commodore that ran down Georgia’s Nick Chubb on a long run a couple months ago. Kentucky did go on to score on that drive but the Commodore defense got back to its business of stopping people and limited Williams to just 4 yards on two carries in the fourth quarter.  The Commodores get a "PUSH" instead of "FAIL" because they did at least manage to keep Williams out of the end zone

Key No. 2 Winning ugly can be fun -- PASS

It was sort of an ugly win because the team only passed on 38 percent of the plays. I envisioned far less passes than that.  Winning despite three fumbles, two of which were lost also does qualify this as an ugly win, if there is really such a thing.  The Commodore staff chose to pass more and it worked. Why did it work? It worked because Kyle Shurmur is coming along nicely as quarterback.  They (the staff) were more aware of that than anyone myself included. 

Key No. 3 Play clean football -- PASS

Vanderbilt's offense did have the three fumbles, two which were lost but the Commodore defense did its job creating turnovers while Shurmur didn’t turn the ball over. Oren Burks picked off two Kentucky passes in the second quarter. He returned the second pick 30 yards for a huge Commodore touchdown. Vandy also recovered a UK fumble deep in Commodore territory to setup another Vandy score.  In the end, Vandy won the turnover battle three to two, which was probably the difference in the game.

All in all, Vanderbilt didn't dominate on either side of the ball but did find a way to win the game.  Give credit to the coaches for getting the defense more active in gaining turnovers. The trick play that scored Caleb Scott was a thing of beauty. Hopefully the staff can also whip up something for Vandy's next opponent, Texas A&M.



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