Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State

The game is over now: Mississippi State 15 Vanderbilt 3. VandyMania.com's armchair quarterback analyzes every element of the Commodores' performance and assigns a grade to each area.


Vanderbilt
3

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Mississippi State
15

AREA
GRADE
COMMENTS
PASSING OFFENSE
D-
Very poor performance especially considering that the opposition was keying on the run. Quarterback Larry Smith was over throwing his receivers the majority of the time. He completed only 12 of 32 passes and was intercepted. While he was pretty bad it wasn't all Larry's fault. VU's offensive linemen were missing blocks and receivers were dropping passes.
RUSHING OFFENSE
F
I rarely give an 'F' but Vandy's rushing offense was absolutely horrible. Just 32 yards gained in 29 attempts. Warren Norman had the longest run of the night for Vandy: a 9-yard gallop.
PASSING DEFENSE
B
Vanderbilt pass defense was super all night against the Bulldogs. They limited MSU to about 81 yards passing in 18 attempts. Safety Sean Richardson played well and finished with 10 tackles.
RUSHING DEFENSE
B-
Started out fine but finished up poorly. Part of that had to do with the fact that they were on the field way too long because the offense slept walked through most of the game. MSU ended up gaining 260 rushing which most offenses would be very happy with.
SPECIAL TEAMS
B
Brett Upson punted well, averaging 43 yards on 11 punts. He had one go 65 yards. Ryan Fowler made a short field goal for Vandy's only score. Hopefully that will help him gain confidence. Alex Washington muffed a punt which led to three Bulldog points. Warren Norman had a 41-yard kickoff return in the second half.
COACHING
D
Another poor job (especially by the offensive coaches) getting the team mentally ready for a team it was favored to beat. We saw similar trends like this last year against Duke, Mississippi State and others. The offense was not prepared. There was no imagination whatsoever. While other SEC offenses are having basketball game like scores Vandy is still stuck with hockey like scores. This isn't new, Vandy's offense has performed poorly every year Ted Cain has been the offensive coordinator except in 2005 when he had a senior future pro bowler at quarterback and even then the offense was just a little above average.
OVERALL GRADE
D
What a lackluster performance by the offense. Great job by the defense. Vanderbilt should be willing to issue a refund to season ticket subscribers for this stinker of a game. Hopefully the coaches can get the players motivated for the Rice game. The loss to MSU was a complete disaster and loss to the Owls would be unthinkable.

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