Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. Army

The game is over now: Army 16, Vanderbilt 13. VandyMania.com's armchair quarterback analyzes every element of the Commodores' performance and assigns a grade to each area.


Vanderbilt
13

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Army
16

AREA
GRADE
COMMENTS
PASSING OFFENSE
D
Probably should be an 'F' but Udom Umoh caught a touchdown pass that would have won it for Vandy. Poor officiating caused what could have been an ugly Vandy win to turn into an even uglier loss. Still, the pitiful first half performance deserves some scolding. The team slept walked through the first half and had like 30 yards of passing offense in that half. The two interceptions are on Larry Smith. He just waited too long to pass. John Cole played well and Brandon Barden had a nice 31-yard catch. Vandy's offense actually played well in late in the fourth quarter when they woke up and saw they were about to lose a football game. If they could play like that an entire game they might score more touchdowns.
RUSHING OFFENSE
C
Not too horrible here. Should have been better against Army but really, the Cadets do have a formidable defense. This was not a Rice or Western Carolina level of a defense. Warren Norman did well but he had that fumble that basically cost Vanderbilt the game. He's got to hold onto the ball better. Zac Stacy played well too but still seems a little slowed by that injury. Larry Smith had the longest run of the game for either team, a 33-yard gain.
PASSING DEFENSE
C
Yes, they held Army to only 47 yards passing but that's too many yards for this option offense. They also didn't come up with a pick in 16 Army attempts. This Army team throws a lot of interceptions for the few times they pass and Vandy didn't get at least one, which might have been the difference in the game.
RUSHING DEFENSE
C+
Yes, the defense gave up 222 yards rushing but remember this was an option offense they were going up against that ran the ball 57 times. Joel Caldwell led the team in tackles with 8.5. Broderick Stewart had a nice stuff on an Army fourth down conversion attempt.
SPECIAL TEAMS
B
Brian Fowler made two field goals and Brett Upson averaged an impressive 47 yards a punt. Warren Norman also had the 76-yard kickoff return for Vandy's only touchdown. Vandy's coverage unit blew one opportunity to back Army up on the one when players weren't aggressive in getting the ball downed. They also gave up a 42-yard kickoff return to Army's Damion Hunter.
COACHING
D
Again, the team looked unmotivated against a team it should have defeated. This is a pattern and continues over and over. Not going for it on fourth-and-two at the Army 40 was very disturbing. Will these coaches ever roll a dice to win a game? The offense looks like it's the same offense that struggled against Mississippi State, LSU and others. How about a new play? Something the defense isn't prepared for like Army did to Vandy on Saturday.
OVERALL GRADE
D+
This team continues to play poorly and things don't seem to be improving. It won't get any easier from here out. Vandy has already blown two games it should have won. It appears 2-10 or 3-9 could be very possible without major improvement on offense.

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