Vanderbilt pounded Rice, 36-17, on Saturday night. Each week VandyMania.com recognizes top offensive and defensive players. Look inside to see what
players VandyMania.com honors this week.
Commodores thrash Owls in second half.
OFFENSIVE STAR OF THE GAME
To say that the Vanderbilt offense had underachieved in their last three games would be a bit like
saying the Hindenburg was slightly flammable. However, despite the design problems, the blimp
idea was never abandoned. Modifications were made and now you can see them soaring over NFL and
college stadiums all over the country on game days. Just like the idea of a flying airbus the
idea that Vanderbilt can have a successful passing attack was never abandoned. Vanderbilt came
into the contest against the Rice Owls needing some life in the passing game which had previously
struggled in the last two contests. Vanderbilt needed a young receiver to step up and be that part
which gets the passing game off the ground and on Saturday they found that guy. Redshirt Freshman John
Cole caught seven balls for sixty seven yards and also added a 31-yard
run on a reverse for Vanderbilt's first touchdown. Cole was a major factor in the awakening of a
VU passing attack and helped quarterback Larry Smith
pass for a career high two hundred and sixty
eight yards on the night.
DEFENSIVE STARS OF THE GAME
Getting pressure on an offense that can put up the kind of numbers Rice had put up in its
previous contest with Oklahoma State
is essential. In order to do that it is necessary for the
front four to get pressure consistently. Lucky for the Commodores they had not one but two
defensive players who just decided to camp out in the Rice backfield all night. Number 91 Theron
Kadri and fellow defensive line mate T.J. Greenstone put on a show Saturday night and helped keep
the dangerous Rice passing attack off balance. In a large part due to the play of these two, Rice
managed a meager 122 passing yards on the night with neither of the two Owl signal callers able to
find much of a rhythm all night. Kadri racked up five tackles with two sacks for
twelve yards in lost yardage. T.J Greenstone only had three tackles but his constantly being in
the backfield left his teammates with a lot of opportunities for big plays and
disrupted the Rice offense.