Against Georgia, Jordan Rodgers had only completed four of his 19 pass attempts. Somehow, the Vanderbilt offense actually looked better as a result.
Rodgers, working in relief of starter Larry Smith, sparked the Vandy offense to 340 yards in a 28-33 loss Saturday night in Nashville. His mobility got him out of several precarious situations as the redshirt junior grew more comfortable making plays as the game wore on. However, it wasn't enough to overcome Aaron Murray and a solid Georgia squad. The loss dropped the Commodores to 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the SEC.
The defeat held more promise for the 'Dores than routs at the hands of South Carolina and Alabama. Vanderbilt's offense woke up with Rodgers behind center, as Zac Stacy, Jerron Seymour, and the quarterback kept the chains moving with strong runs and combined to put 21 points on the board at Dudley Field. Though Rodgers finished with just 38 yards passing, he added 80 more yards on the ground and was one of the team's most effective weapons against the Bulldogs.
Stacy and backup punter Ryan Fowler ended the game as Vandy's most efficient passers. The pair got the call on an option-pass and fake punt to constitute more than half of the team's total passing offense. Stacy's strike to Jordan Matthews was the team's only passing touchdown of the game.
The Commodores' normally stout secondary had trouble with Georgia's passing attack all night. Aaron Murray was able to find seams in Vandy's zone coverage throughout the night, passing for 326 yards, a personal best. However, Casey Hayward's goal line interception late in the fourth quarter gave the 'Dores a final chance to pull the upset. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, Rodgers's 17th pass attempt floated into the hands of Bacarri Rambo (!) to seemingly seal the loss.
However, the 'Dores weren't going to go down quietly. Vanderbilt's jailbreak punt coverage allowed Udom Umoh to block Drew Butler's punt with seven seconds to go. Rodgers had two attempts to get the ball into the end zone for the win, but his first pass was deflected away from Chris Boyd and his final throw of the night left Brandon Barden 15 yards short of victory. The game ended with both sidelines jawing at each other in the middle of the field.
Vanderbilt will have a week to regroup before they face Army in Nashville. The homecoming matchup will give the team a huge opportunity to get back on track after three straight losses.