Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt Report Card: Texas A&M

The Vanderbilt Commodores fell to the Texas A&M Aggies 25-0 on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium. VandyMania.com's Don Yates grades the Commodores' performance in several key areas.

PASSING OFFENSE: F

Vanderbilt completed just 5-of-12 passes for 23 yards during the game.  Kyle Shurmur started the game and completed 3-of-12 passes for 19 yards one interception.  Johnny McCrary played in spots during the first half and later played the entire fourth quarter. In the first half an apparent Trent Sherfield reception for a first down was reviewed and reversed when it didn't appear to be conclusive. Steven Scheu and Ronald Monroe each had four catches.  Trent Sherfield had one catch for five yards. 

RUSHING OFFENSE: D

Vandy finished with just 125 yards on 44 carries (2.8 ypc).  Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb ran for 51 yards in the first quarter but then only managed 28 for the rest of the game. Dallas Rivers had two 10-yard plus runs in the second quarter and finished with three carries for 30 yards.  Darrius Sims picked up 14 yards on four carries. Johnny McCrary gained 17 yards on seven carries.  This was a poor overall showing by the Vandy rushing game.  A&M has allowed an average of 202 yards per game (4.8 ypc). The Aggies gave up 137 yards (5.1 ypc) to FCS opponent Western Carolina and 153 yards (3.4 ypc) to Nevada earlier in the season. 

PASSING DEFENSE: D-

Vanderbilt allowed the Aggies their second highest passage yardage in a game this season (336 yards).  Quarterback Kyle Allen completed 18-of-36 passes for 336 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. Allen connected with Josh Reynolds for a 96-yard bomb to put the Aggies up 13-0. Zach Cunningham, Caleb Azubike, and Stephen Weatherly all had sacks for Vanderbilt.  The Commodores broke up nine Aggie passes during the game but too often Allen was allowed to complete long passes to keep drives going.                

RUSHING DEFENSE: B+

Vandy allowed A&M 150 yards on the ground on 38 carries (3.9 ypc). That's nearly 30 yards under the Aggies average per game (179).  Tra Carson gained 126 yards on 22 carries (5.7 ypc).  James White had 17 yards on eight carries. The longest A&M run of the game was for 18 yards.  Zach Cunningham led Vandy with 14 tackles including three for losses.  Cornerback Tre Herndon had eight tackles.  

SPECIAL TEAMS: C

Tommy Openshaw averaged 41.8 yards on nine punts for a 41.8 yard average.  His longest punt went for 58 yards.  Openshaw had a first quarter punt blocked by A&M allowing the Aggies to start at drive at the Vandy 13.  Openshaw also had a 15-yard punt to the A&M 38 early in the second quarter.  Vanderbilt did not attempt a field goal.  Vanderbilt did a good job of limiting Christian Kirk.  Vanderbilt punted nine times but just one was returned, although for 23 yards.  Vandy did a solid job on kickoff coverage limiting the Aggies to 12 yards on their only return.  

COACHING: C

This is the fourth time this season that after a win the team has responded by playing very poorly in the next game. After the long A&M touchdown pass, Vanderbilt attempted to get out of the half with no further damage. It didn't work though.  Kevin Sumlin used his timeouts effectively and the Aggies got the ball back with about 58 second remaining. The Aggies quickly advanced into field goal range in just 58 seconds. It was likely a lesson to Derek Mason on how to be a competitor but in his defense, the Commodore offense is just atrocious but then again, that's also his responsibility as the head coach. 

OVERALL GRADE: D

It was just a lackluster, poor performance by the Commodores in both offense, defense and special teams.   It’s sad that on Senior Day Vandy couldn’t even muster a field goal against an A&M team whose defense is very average.   Before the season most observers didn’t project this game as one the Commodores would win.  However, it became a game the ‘Dores needed to win after Vandy dropped the opener against Western Kentucky and the road trip to South Carolina, at team that lost to likes of the Citadel.  Now Vanderbilt must hope for a shocker win over Tennessee and for a very unlikely 5-7 APR bowl slot to become available. 

 


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