Three Keys Reviewed: Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee State

Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee State 35-17 on Saturday for homecoming. Prior to the game, VandyMania.com established three keys for the Commodores to be victorious. We will now review those three keys.

Key No. 1 TAKE TSU SERIOUSLY - PUSH

Vandy gave up over 400 yards offense to the Tigers. TSU needed just two plays to get on the board against Vandy. Honestly, it's hard to believe that Vandy or any FBS would be bouncing off the walls for an FCS opponent, in the same manner the 'Dores were for Georgia. The most important thing, though, was that the Commodores took TSU seriously enough to win the game. Fans always expect a 50-0 win against an FCS opponent. The fact is, though, that FCS teams have formidable talent. FCS teams get 63 scholarships, 22 less than FBS teams but only 11 players can be on the field at a time during a game which means that the disparity in talent is not as big as most think. Every year we hear of FCS opponents shocking FBS opponents. As bad as things have been for Vandy at times over the years, the 'Dores still have not lost to any FCS opponent.   

Key No. 2 RUN, RUN, and RUN SOME MORE - PASS

As well as TSU threw the ball against Vandy, the 'Dores returned the favor with their ground game. Ralph Webb gained 125 yards and Khari Blasingame rumbled for 100 yards and three touchdowns. Webb now has 854 yards rushing on the season and 2,914 for his career. Webb, by the way, is averaging a full yard more per carry (5.2 vs. 4.2) than he did in 2015. Blasingame has 301 rushing for the season and a team-leading seven touchdowns. He's tied for third in the SEC in touchdowns scored with seven. Darrius Sims (50 yards) and Josh Crawford (49 yards) also ran well and Trent Sherfield scored on a run late in the game. 

Key No. 3 NO DUMB INJURIES - PASS

There were no serious injuries during the game. Vanderbilt used key players sparingly. Ralph Webb, despite some protests from him, had just nine carries during the game. Zach Cunningham also seemed to be on the field less than previous games. After the game someone asked Derek Mason about his good fortune so far this season regarding the low number of injuries, Mason replied by knocking on the table in front of him and agreeing that the 'Dores have done well in the injury department. Hopefully, that will continue for four or maybe even five more games.  


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