As the good Dr. Seuss would say: A win is a win, no matter how ugly.
The Commodores upset the home-favorite Missouri Tigers in a 19-15 bobblefest Saturday night. And for a program like the Commodores', whose future success all but hinges on getting more wins, ugly wins are so, so much nicer than losses.
How ugly was it? Two Mizzou field goals and a Vanderbilt safety rounded out the first quarter, as both offenses struggled to find momentum. Missouri's James Franklin left the game with an injured knee in the first half, and after that it was downhill for the Tigers. A missed extra point came back to haunt them in the waning minutes when Carey Spear nailed his last field goal to put them up 19-15.
Missouri fans can, will, have and should talk about their injuries and bad luck this season, but I hope they can still give credit to Vanderbilt, who so often in the past has just been too dang polite to take advantage of an opponent's struggles, for actually putting this game away.
The Commodore offense is still struggling mightily - Zac Stacy carried the ball 29 times for only 72 yards (about 2.48 yards per carry), and Rodgers went 14/24 on his passes. I'll leave it to other AoG'ers to break the stats down more, but, at this point in the season, Vandy fans just have to hope their starters can keep cranking the ignition until the engine turns over (I think that's right? Cars are a mystery to me) and we start clicking. What this team needs, long-term, is better talent, which comes with wins like these; short-term, they just need some mojo... which also, hopefully, comes with gritty wins like this one.
No win is too small for this program, and Lord knows that, for this team, when the wins don't come easy, they usually don't come at all (see: 2011). Let's see if they can pull off an upset over Florida next week, and then finish the job against Auburn to settle back in the middle of the SEC. A bowl berth and a winning season are the goals for this year, and both are well within reach. The Commodores bought themselves a little breathing room with this win; let's hopefully see them relax a little bit, get into a groove, and starting enjoying what's sure to be one hell of a ride in the second half of the season.
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