There will likely be no 13th game in December this year. With outstanding
Playing 12 games in 12 weeks is tough on any college team. Of the 12 member schools, Vanderbilt can least afford to lose quality players like Brian Stamper, Josh Eames, Jeff Jennings, and Bright and compete in the Southeastern Conference.
As I mentioned in the Friday preview, this game looked like one
Vanderbilt would have a tough time winning. Give
Even the special teams found
Richard Kovalcheck entered the game and looked like he knew what he was doing with the short passing game. It might be interesting to see what he can do early in the game in a more conventional drop-back attack. It might be worth trying Kovalcheck at quarterback and keeping Nickson in the game with Cassen Jackson-Garrison or Jared Hawkins in a split back alignment. Nickson might be another Frank Gifford with his running acumen and ability to throw the halfback pass on the move. Without Bright, the Commodores are going to need to come up with another blocker and/or another way to influence the defense away from the real point of attack. Nickson has the intelligence to play both positions, and it would cause colossal headaches for teams trying to prepare for it.
The fourth quarter mistaken call by the referee was a bad break, but it
did not affect the outcome of the game.
Vanderbilt must now venture to
The Blue Devils are going to enter this game hopping mad, as they felt
they should have won the game against the Hurricanes. Playing at home and against an SEC team
they think they can beat, this is not going to be a "gimme" win for the black
and gold. In fact, unless the
Commodores play with the same intensity they would play against
Commodore coach Bobby Johnson does not like it when someone brings up the past history of Vanderbilt football and makes a comparison to his tenure. He's right to be upset, because he is not at fault for the multiple times from past seasons where the Gold Men won a big game one week and then bounced the following week. However, fans who have followed the team since 1960 can recall some of the reasons why Vanderbilt has almost always failed to turn the corner when they had appeared to have turned the corner.
First and foremost, Vanderbilt has never had the equivalent amount of
talent of the other SEC schools.
Until unlimited substitution became the rule, Vanderbilt could compete
with 20 to 25 good players. That
gave them a two-deep that was as talented as the other 11 members (back then
Tulane and Georgia Tech instead of
Due to this lack of depth (Vandy's depth is about as good as it has been in the last 45 years, but still near the bottom of the league), once injuries begin to pile up, it is difficult if not impossible to put together back-to-back efforts like the Commodores pulled off in Athens, Georgia, last week. Couple that with no bye week and teams like Vandy weaken as the season progresses. The PiRate ratings actually factor in this depth concern, taking away a point every three weeks regardless of the outcome of the game that previous Saturday.
In 1973, when the Commodores upset