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Vandy's Offense "Vanderbilt-like" in 27-3 Loss to LSU

135 total yards. 65 rushing yards - 51 of those on a Warren Norman run. 4.7 passing yards per attempt for Larry Smith. In a word, awful.

Vandy's defense kept the team in the game until the fourth quarter, but an impotent offense showed that every Commodore first down was just burning time until LSU would get the ball back. The short-yardage accuracy of Smith in the Northwestern game disappeared, as receivers struggled to get open and an inexperienced offensive line rarely cleared a pocket for the junior quarterback.  Sophomore Zac Stacy couldn't follow up an effective season opener amongst swarms of Tiger defenders, rushing for just 19 yards on nine carries (he had 50 more yards in the same amount of touches last week). Warren Norman wasn't much better, going for just 17 yards on seven carries when you exclude the 51-yard breakaway that put Vanderbilt in line for their only points.

Even the defense pulled a strange 180 between the two weeks, going from having a stout run defense with holes in the passing game to allowing big yardage on the ground while essentially shutting down Jordan Jefferson's passing attack. An end zone interception by Casey Heyward kept the Commodores in the game up to the end of the third quarter, 10-3, but the tired defense couldn't hold back LSU's grinding offense. The Tigers' rushing game ran down the clock and put 17 points on the board in the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.

Vanderbilt had no answer for LSU once the Tigers started moving the chains on the ground. Vanderbilt's receivers combined for just two receptions and 30 yards as tight end Brandon Barden proved to be the team's most consistent force on offense. All the concerns that we thought had been assuaged by a promising performance against Northwestern were reinforced - the offense can't move the chains, and the defense struggles against strong running backs. Suddenly, a 5-7 season record seems a bit more unlikely, and this season looks a little bit bleaker.