Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. Georgia Tech

The game is over now: Georgia Tech 56, Vanderbilt 31. VandyMania.com's armchair quarterback analyzes every element of the Commodores' performance and assigns a grade to each area.


Vanderbilt
31

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Georgia Tech
56

AREA
GRADE
COMMENTS
PASSING OFFENSE
B
The Commodore quarterbacks finished with 14-of-24 pass completions for 179 yards and no interceptions. Larry Smith was sharp and completed 2-of-2 passes for 27 yards and a touchdown. His scoring pass to Warren Norman was not a long bomb but it was still and thing of beauty going over the middle for 11 yards and leaving the Tech defense virtually helpless. Unfortunately Smith was hurt on the Commodore's second drive but Mackenzi Adams took over and continued the solid passing. Adams finished 12-of-22 for 152 yards but did not garner a scoring pass. Norman, Brandon Bardon and Alex Washington all finished with three catches. On the negative side, Adams and Jamie Graham each had fumbles that gave Tech excellent position for easy scores. Running back Zac Stacy also had a fumble.
RUSHING OFFENSE
B
For the second consecutive game there was a solid effort by the Commodore offensive line. Zac Stacy looks like he is back to normal after the sprained ankle. However, Bobby Johnson said after the game that he'll likely require surgery after the season. Stacy had 75 yards rushing, 62 of which was for a long touchdown run in the second quarter. Stacy also had a 3-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Warren Norman added 60 yard rushing and Smith went for 35 during the play in which he injured his hamstring.
PASSING DEFENSE
F
Total failure here and very disturbing. Vandy defensive backs were beaten again and again by an option offense. What's really disturbing is that it was players who normally make great plays in secondary that were beaten so badly. Tech only had six completions by Josh Nesbitt but those went for more yardage (193) than Vanderbilt's 12 completions. One of those passes went for 87 yards to Tech's Embry Peeples in the fourth quarter and was a dagger in the heart. Nesbitt also had a 35-yard touchdown pass Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter.
RUSHING DEFENSE
F
Terrible job here too. Yes, it was a great offense that the team was going up against but Vandy's defenders looked totally lost. Jonathan Dwyer had a career high 187 yards rushing for three touchdowns. Tech as a team averaged 6 yards a carry. Chris Marve led Vanderbilt in tackles with 18.
SPECIAL TEAMS
B
Brett Upson averaged 39 yards a punt. In the third quarter Ryan Fowler had a 23-yard field goal that put Vanderbilt up, 31-28. Of course Warren Norman had another fine kickoff return, this time for 80 yards. Can he get another this season? Hopefully there won't be too many kickoffs for him to return, he had plenty of practice against Georgia Tech.
COACHING
C
The offense and special teams looked solid but this time it was the defense that was out to lunch during the game. Totally unprepared for the triple option.
OVERALL GRADE
C
This was a tough loss to a very good team. Vandy isn't the first team to get steam rolled by Tech. The Yellow Jackets hung 49 at Florida State and 42 on that tough Mississippi State defense. Those turnovers really, really hurt Vandy and turned a potential 35-31 score or better into a blowout. Now the 'Dores must get ready for the defending national champion Florida Gators. Will this be the big Vandy shocker of the year? Who knows? The Gators will be missing a bunch of players on Saturday including (for the first half) a starting linebacker who likes to gouge at opposing player's eyes.

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