Vandy Report Card: Alabama game

Vanderbilt lost at Alabama 13-10 on Saturday. VandyMania takes a position by position look at the Commodores performance and gives grade to each unit.


Wide receivers- Earl Bennett had another great game with 5 catches for 45 yards.  For the second straight game he completed a pass to Marlon White.  Sean Walker caught a nice pass and is performing consistently for the Commodores.  Nobody is perfect though; Bobby Johnson mentioned in his post game comments that one of the receivers was in the wrong place on one of the interceptions.  B-


Running backs- There was a big improvement in the running back department over the Michigan game.  The Commodores doubled their rushing gains over the previous week. Cassen Jackson-Garrison looked almost like his 2005 form. Fullback Steven Bright made some great catches that helped keep Vanderbilt drives alive.  The Vandy backs also helped the offensive line by providing some good blocking. There is still a lot of room for improvement. C+


Quarterback- Chris Nickson showed vast improvement. He gained 40 yards rushing and passed for 140.  His one drawback was the 3 interceptions.  Despite the picks he is steadily improving. He'll be fine after he gets a few games under his belt. C


Offensive line- Much, Much better than at Michigan.  Nickson was not sacked at all after getting slammed 6 times up north.  The fact that the running game did better reflects positively on the offensive line.  B


Defensive backs- It was a good performance by Vandy's secondary.  Reshard Langford had a nice interception and freshman D.J. Moore recovered a fumble. Ben Koger and Langford each had 6 tackles.  Koger had a touchdown saving tackle late in the game to help force a Tide field goal.  On the lone Tide touchdown pass several Vandy defenders were not in position.  B


Linebackers- Jonathan Goff led Vanderbilt in tackles for the second week in a row with 13.  He also caused 2 fumbles and broke up a pass.  Kevin Joyce and Marcus Buggs each had 6 tackles.   Buggs also had a tackle for lost yardage.  B+


Defensive line- Broderick Stewart had a sack for the second straight game, this one for a whopping 13 yards.   At this rate he'll have 12 sacks for the season.  Curtis Gatewood had a fumble recovery.  Steven Stone had a nice tackle for a loss. Theo Horrocks had 4 tackles. It's good to see the Vanderbilt defensive line being more involved.  Defensive line coach Rick Logo is doing a great job helping this unit to be more competitive. B


Special teams- Brett Upson continues to impress as a punter.  Upson averaged over 43 yards a punt; his longest was 50 yards.  Of the five Vanderbilt punts, none were returned for positive yardage.  Alabama had a total of -2 yards in punt returns. With the reliability of Upson punting, maybe the Vanderbilt staff should consider having a weekly guest student to serve on punt coverage teams. Bryant Hahnfeldt is back to his 2005 form. Hahnfeldt made a 42 yarder.  Mackenzi Adams continues to be an excellent holder for Bryant.  The one breakdown on special teams was that fumble by Alex Washington on Vandy's first drive of the third quarter.  Let's hope that is the last fumble he has this season.  Hats off to special teams coach Warren Belin.  B+


#83 Brad Allen and #85 Jake Bradford get ready to block for Bryant Hahnfeldt's (rear) field goal attempt. Mackenzie Adams is holding. Commodore special teams have shown a big improvement over their 2005 performance. (VM/Stan Jones) Top Stories