In which a 41-year-old Commodore supporter sees things that hadn't happened since before half of you were born.
* Jordan Matthews gets PI'd with no call on the final drive against South Carolina in 2012. Zac Stacy has the most fluke fumble go back 95 yards for a TF and a 15 point swing against Arkansas in 2011. Jeff Scott gets a sudden 75 yard breakaway for Ole Miss to take our lead back in August. Tennessee gets a bizarre overtime TD in Knoxville in 2011. Penn Wagers lets the Gators do whatever they want on defense in Gainesville in 2011. Chase Garnham can't go against Mizzou. Warren Norman can't go against Northwestern. And that's just since James Franklin came to town.
What do those games have in common? Every one of them went on the record as a loss. 0-1 that week. L. No asterisk, no footnotes, no "Vandy was snakebit" or "they lucked into it" or "the Dores' best guys weren't out there." All losses. So ignore the chirping from some quarters. We won, full stop. First ranked opponent taken down since 2008, first win over the SEC East Big Three since 2008, first win on CBS since 1982. You want to call it a program-defining win? Consider it called.
* Jerrod Seymour is now on top of the depth chart at RB, and he has earned it, and he keeps earning it every week. The Atom Bomb is in constant motion, always churning, always seems to get a couple more yards than you thought he would - and was every bit as effective out of the Q package (so happy not to be calling it the damned Wildcat) as anyone else. I'd still like to see a few more runs than we called today, and I suspect that if Patton is the guy next week, we might see them, of which more shortly.
* We have to talk about the Idiot and Henry play. I'm sure there was probably a flaw in the execution somewhere, maybe ACS had time not to throw that pass or audible out of it or just tuck and run or something, whatever, don't care. The fact of the matter is this: we were moving the ball effectively, we had the momentum, Georgia was on their heels. There was absolutely no reason whatsoever to call for some sort of exotic play, with a formation out of the ordinary and complex execution, that deep in our own territory. It's one thing to call the fake field goal when it could be a difference maker and it's as simple as a handoff and everyone just run-blocks hard. It's something completely different to run that play in that spot, and it have Georgia the lead, the momentum, and most of the oxygen in the stadium. The one good thing you can say about that play is that it proved we could overcome adversity and make up for a bad decision, but I would still like a real mean dog chained to the bench and trained to bite Franklin or Donovan if either of them suggests something like that in the back end of the field ever again.
* Has anyone stood up for this team more than Jonathan Krause? To be put in the position of having to replace a Biletnikoff-watch-list WR2, and then to have to take the throws from the backup QB in the second half to get the ball down the field…Krause is turning in an absolutely epic performance under the circumstances and deserves a world of credit for the way he's stepped up to the challenge.
* Okay, I admit it, I'm in the tank for ACS because he's a local guy and he's a really good dude, and I think it's still his job if he's healthy, but I'm very pleased with the way Patton Robinette responded to the call today. To deliver this win in relief is the kind of thing that will mean all the world when he's asked to take the controls for good, whether that be next week or next year or whatever. That said, if he gets the start next week, I'd like to see as much run-first as we can manage, in hopes of forcing the defense to respect the run and pass equally and buy time for Patton to get comfortable. And not coincidentally, to keep Aggie on defense rather than offense as long as possible. Such a Big 12 team they are...no defense at all, but my God, the points they can put up...
* Mark my words, before he leaves, Darreon Herring will be spoken of alongside Gerald Collins, Jamie Duncan, Jamie Winborn, Jonathan Goff and Chris Marve. He's in on so many plays, he's owed about five picks that didn't happen because of penalties or out of bounds - he's a kid who makes things happen and it's fun watching him figure it out.
* It got overshadowed because of all the other SEC upsets - how much better do I feel about the Ole Miss loss today than this time yesterday? - but make no mistake, we took a big step yesterday. Not because it was a ranked opponent, or one of the Big Three above us in the SEC East, but because we took a punch and responded. We faced adversity and battled back. We got breaks like we never get, and we exploited them to the fullest. We won on our terms, we went out and we took what we needed to win. That's something that Vanderbilt teams have never done in my lifetime before the current regime. We're not trying not to lose, we're trying to win.
*I'm technically a Redskins fan, but they have the Bears today. If you need me, I'll be in the Farmer's Union in San Jose wearing a ten-year-old black and gold #6 jersey. Because it's all of us, a long gold line going back past Sanders and McGugin. Whether that 6 is Austyn Carta-Samuels or Hollywood Jay Cutler or Tony Kemp or the guys and girls in the front row of the student section in Memorial, it's all of us. To paraphrase Sorkin, we're a team. From VCDW and CJF on down, we're a team, we're a family, and losses are salved and victories are sweeter because we did them together. That's why it goes from Tom Samuels '60 to Austyn Carta-Samuels '14 to who knows who in the future. We chose this, we chose each other, and we ride or die together.
I wouldn't have it any other way.