Morris: Commodores played well

Commodore fans left Vanderbilt Stadium with an all too familiar feeling Saturday night as the Commodores battled a ranked opponent down to the wire only to come up short. It was a tough loss for the Commodores because a win would have given them six wins for the season making them bowl eligible. Unfortunately for the Commodores, it was not to be on Saturday.

The Commodores played well on Saturday. They were able to accomplish many of the goals they set for the game. Vanderbilt wanted to run the ball well and keep the Kentucky offense off the field. The Commodores won the time of possession battle 35:52 to 24:08. They were able to accomplish this goal. Cassen Jackson-Garrison carried the ball 11 times for 83 yards, Jeff Jennings carried 12 times for 70 yards, and Jared Hawkins carried 7 times for 50 yards. They averaged 5 yards per carry on the ground.

Vanderbilt threw the ball well on Saturday. Mackenzi Adams had his best game as the Commodores' starting quarterback going 20 of 31 for 193 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Commodores wanted to get Earl Bennett involved in the offense. He finished the day with 8 catches for 69 yards. He came up with two huge fourth down catches on the final drive.

The Commodores were able to accomplish most of the goals they set on the defensive side on the ball as well. They held Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson, who is going to be a first round NFL draft pick, to just 222 yards passing and only 1 touchdown. The Vanderbilt front was able to get pressure on Woodson all day long. Broderick Stewart led the Commodore rush with the biggest game of his career. He ended the day with two sacks, two pass deflections, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry. The Commodore defense as a whole was able to sack Woodson three times.

Vanderbilt did a pretty good job stopping the run on Saturday. Rafael Little carried the ball 15 times for 74 yards before leaving the game with an injury. Derrick Locke carried the ball 12 times for 51 yards. Holding one of the better running back combinations in the country to just 125 yards is considered a pretty solid day.

In the end the Wildcats made the plays when it counted, and the Commodores did not. Vanderbilt accomplished all of the goals they set for themselves in this game besides coming away with the victory. They just wanted to hang with Kentucky and have a chance to win at the end of the game. If the ball does not slip out of Adams's hand you never know what would have happened. No one at Vanderbilt is happy with taking only a moral victory away from this game, but they can use this game to build some confidence heading into the last two games of the season. Neither game will be easy, but they are both games that the Commodores can win if they play well.


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