Morris: 'Dores must move on

It did not take long for the Commodore faithful to start suffering on Saturday. It started on the very first play from scrimmage when Vanderbilt had a 60 yard completion from Chris Nickson to Earl Bennett called back for offensive pass interference. That play was just a bit of foreshadowing for events to come.

Penalties, missed tackles, the inability to get anything going on offense and the rushing defense are obviously the reasons that Vanderbilt came up on the short end against Alabama on Saturday. Not only did Vanderbilt have the 60 yard pass nullified by offensive pass interference, they also had a 70 yard Alex Washington punt return for a touchdown called back because of a facemask penalty. The Commodores also had a pair of penalties on a play right before halftime that set Alabama up for a 29-yard field goal.

The Commodores did not do a good job of tackling on Saturday. They had Alabama punt returner Javier Arenas bottled up on his 69 yard punt return to the 1 yard line but failed to bring him to the ground. Alabama's freshman running back Terry Grant found the end zone on the very next play.

The Vanderbilt offense failed to get into any type of rhythm all game long. Part of the reason for this was the right hamstring injury suffered by quarterback Chris Nickson. He said the injury occurred sometime at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter. The injury prevented Nickson from being able to plant his back foot when he dropped back to pass, which hurt his accuracy. If Bobby Johnson would have known the extent of Nickson's injury he probably would have made the switch to Mackenzie Adams a little sooner than the third quarter. Adams played pretty well in relief of Nickson going 13-23 for 108 yards and a touchdown pass to George Smith.

The Commodore defense played pretty well against the pass on Saturday holding Alabama to 150 yards passing. The rushing defense held up pretty well for most of the game but ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. The Alabama had the ball for 12:05 in the second quarter. That really took a toll on the Vanderbilt defensive line. Vanderbilt's lack of depth on the defensive line came back to haunt them in the second half. Alabama ended up rushing for 221 yards on 48 carries. Terry Grant accounted for 174 of those yards.

The good news for Vanderbilt is that this is just one game in a twelve game season. They have the chance to get back out there this Saturday against Ole Miss and put this loss behind them. This loss is not the end of the season if they can put it behind them. They can still move forward towards the goals they set for themselves this season with a win over Ole Miss. However, if they take this loss into the game on Saturday it could prove a lot more detrimental to them. Bobby Johnson will not let this to happen. He will have them ready to go when the ball is kicked off Saturday.


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