From the start of this game, it did not look like it was going to be a fun day for the Commodores. Kentucky started the game with a 99 yard drive for a touchdown. Whatever your feelings are for how that fumble call should have gone, the fact of the matter is Vanderbilt did not execute on offense. Again.
The Commodore offense was without Patton "the General" Robinette, and went to Wade Freebeck for the game, who went 8/25, throwing 3 picks and only 85 yards. In the postgame, Mason (I think correctly) pointed out that there were a few big throws that if they were on target were touchdowns. Freebeck clearly has the potential to be a big QB in teh coming years, but right now he's playing, well, like a Freshman QB.
A big contributor to the anemic passing game was Kentucky's defense, which loaded the box big most of the game. Kentucky blitzed hard and often, sacking Freebeck 4 times and forcing many of the bad throws. The Vanderbilt playcalling went away from running the ball that has worked so well for us. Webb only was given the ball 13 times, and still managed to get 44 yards (an average of 3.4 yards).
The Vanderbilt defense, however, really played as we're used to seeing, locking down the Kentucky offense for the second half. Darrius Sims fans will love the fact that the only Vanderbilt TD came on a pick six on a pass that was just telegraphed deep in their own territory. Once again, we are seeing that the Defense can execute and execute well, and I cannot imagine how they would look if our offense could score some points. Vanderbilt must get some sustained drives not only because you know, you need points to win, but to give the defense a little rest.
This is really starting to look like a tale of two offenses. The playcalling that is being used with Wade Freebeck under center is not getting the job done, while the playcalling with Patton Robinette actually results in points. It's probably a combination of Robinette being better able to execute, but EVERYTHING about the offense from top to bottom looks better when he is under center.
Stay tuned to Anchor of Gold throughout the week for our usual full recaps and breakdowns.