Monday, October 25, 2010
Vandy vs. South Carolina review
Vanderbilt looked strong in the first half and the game was tied 7-7 going into the 3rd quarter. Coach Steve Spurrier replaced an ineffective Kenny Miles with Maddox in the 4th series of the game. Maddox at first was proving just as ineffective as Miles until a game changing drive that saw him eat up 48 yards on the ground in the 3rd quarter. The Gamecocks let Vandy hang around with an errant snap on one drive and Casey Heyward's SEC-leading fifth interception on another and a blocked field goal as well. The Commodores had consistent pressure on Stephen Garcia and had a total of 4 sacks. To Garcia's credit, he remained tough in the pocket and finally found his rhythm and hit a couple of long passes late in the game. I figured Vandy would have problems covering Alshon Jeffrey with his size and athleticism and was proved to be correct. Garcia was able to connect with Jeffrey for a 24-yard catch that set up a Maddox touchdown and later Jeffrey had a spectacular 72-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth. A surprise to me and apparently to the Commodores was receiver Tori Gurley who finished with 13 catches for 109 yards. When you combine Jeffrey's number and Gurley's numbers you can see it was hard for Vandy's secondary to keep up with the Gamecocks passing game.
Vanderbilt's offense looked as stagnant as ever finishing with just 250 total yards. Larry Smith continues to have trouble passing going 13/31 for 142 and no touchdowns. The run game was OK at best going for 108 yards. Vandy will continue to have problems as long as there middling offense doesn't find the continuity it needs to help out its defense. The Commodores are now 2-5 and are headed to Fayetville next in a dual with Arkansas, lead by QB Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks intricate passing game. There is definitely no rest for the weary in the SEC but hopefully Vandy can try to rebound from consecutive losses.