5 Reasons Vandy Came Up Short in Athens

The Commodores head back from Athens still seeking that elusive sixth win. There is no doubt the 2008 version of the Dores is better than most of the teams over the past 20 years, but they still have to play nearly perfect football games to win against the big boys of the Southeastern Conference.

Here are the 5 reasons Vandy came up short against the Bulldogs on Saturday:

1. Mackenzi Adams threw two interceptions.

Adams has been a sparkplug for the 2008 Commodore offense. He played pretty well on Saturday, but he did throw two interceptions that led to touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Adams's first interception came in the first quarter on a 3rd and 2 from the UGA 39 yard line. That did not give the Bulldogs great field position, but it kept the Black and Gold from either attempting a long field goal or punting with an opportunity to pen the Georgia offense deep.

The second interception came in the second quarter and did give Georgia good field position at their 43 yard line. The pick also slowed some momentum the Commodores had gained from getting a couple of first downs on a possession that started at their 6 yard line.

2. The Commodores only converted five of fourteen third down attempts.

Converting third downs is important in any football game, but it is especially important against a top ten team in the country. The most frustrating thing for Vandy is that seven of the nine failed attempts were five yards or less. The Dores will have to improve their third down offense to get a win against Duke.

3. Vanderbilt gave up 231 yards on the ground.

The Commodores knew coming into this game that one of the keys to winning was containing Knowshon Moreno. They were not able to do that on Saturday. He gained 175 yards on 23 carries and scored a touchdown. Moreno was able to get to the corner on numerous occasions a rip off big gains.

4. The Vandy defense gave up 8 plays of 15 yards or more.

The Dores did a good job most of the day against Matthew Stafford and his high-powered offense. They held Stafford to just 194 yards passing on the day and intercepted him twice. They just had a few too many breakdowns that allowed the Bulldogs to gain some big chunks the did not necessarily lead to points, but they allowed the Dawgs to win the field position battle.

5. The Commodores did not get enough big plays on offense and special teams.

The biggest play of the day for the offense was an 18 yard touchdown pass from Adams to Jamie Graham. The longest run on the day was 14 yards from Jared Hawkins. That is not enough offensive firepower to win against a team as good as Georgia.

There was also not a single big play on special teams. The punt return team was only able to gain 12 yards in 4 punts. The kickoff return team averaged just 17.4 yards per return. That simply will not get it done in a game of this magnitude.

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