I do want to reiterate something. We should have beaten Missouri, who remember, is the team that was the SECE champs last year. We also should have beaten UK. So that's two teams that HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED probably would have beaten. Maybe. It's hard to say that with such an inexperienced squad.
The point here is that with small improvements the team probably would have had 2 SEC victories at least. So maybe all is not as bad as we remembered...
Vanderbilt Ball, 4th and 3, ODU 7, ~ , No Score
I can't get TOO excited as it was ODU's first year in FBS, but this is how our drives should look all the time. Here, lemme show you (courtesy of ESPN). I think part of Mason's decision to go for it on 4th was the flak for not doing it against Mizzou.
Vanderbilt 4th and 6, ODU 42, ~4:50, Vandy 7 - ODU 0
Well, I'm NOT going to watch this sober like I did Mizzou, lemme tell you that right now. We learn nothing from the last drive and stall out on the pass game. To be fair, McCrary's third down throw should have been caught. CALEB SCOTT I AM LOOKING IN YOUR DIRECTION.
ESPN just informed me that Caleb "A-zoo-buh-kai" is the man to watch out for. I kinda wanna make a Vandy themed Cobra Kai logo now.
ODU Ball, 3rd and 5, ODU 25, ~ 4:00, Vandy 7 - ODU 0
ODU, unlike Mizzou, watched tape and realized our secondary is bad. 42 yards given up on one play to what's basically a 1-AA team.
ODU Ball, 2nd and 7, Vandy 30, ~3:10, Vandy 7 - ODU 0
And we follow it right up by allowing a 30 yard play for a TD on the same damned slant route. Why the hell are we so bad at protecting the pass?
KICKOFF TO VANDY, Tied at 7
We're very effing fortunate that Sims got his elbow down on that dive, but holy crap to fumble it right back after that drive... that would have had me flipping tables.
Vanderbilt Ball, 1st and Goal, ODU 7, ~, Tied at 7
This drive failed twice, and twice ODU saved us with stupid personal fouls. At least the ball is getting in the hands of the RBs, particularly Dallas Rivers. Webb finishes it off with a 7 yard run for the TD.
KICKOFF TO ODU
Of course we let them return it 45 yards to the ODU 45 though. Because why should we kick the ass of a school that we... should... kick the ass of?
ODU Ball, 4th and 1, Vandy 33, ~5:30, Vandy 14- ODU 7
ODU doesn't believe in punting, and after the way our last few games have gone I have mixed feelings about that. Weatherly is not pleased, eats the soul of Ray Lawry behind LoS.
Vanderbilt Ball, 1st and 10, Vandy 45, ~3:20, Vandy 14-ODU 7
Caleb Scott heard my call out from the future. The throw wasn't so great, but Caleb Scott jumped up over the DB and made the play. That's the way it's done Caleb!
Vanderbilt Ball, 2nd and GOAL, ODU 5, ~2:10, Vandy 14 - ODU 7
Steven Scheu literally just flexed as he caught a pass in the endzone. I love him. Also props to you WR who's number I can't read who's in the TD arms before the ball is even in Scheu's hands. You know. You know.
ODU Ball, 1st and Goal, Vandy 8, ~1:20, Vandy 21 - ODU 7
I mean, they were trying before, but ODU found the holes in our swiss cheese secondary. A 45 second drive. To a team that just came up from 1-AA. Glorious!
Vanderbilt Ball, 1st and 10, ODU 20, ~10 seconds, Vandy 21 - ODU 14
Hey, look what happens when you don't panic and run an offense like I keep saying we should have! Webb on two runs gets 2, then 27. Gives McCrary the ability to have open passing lanes to get it to Rayford for a 24 yard shot and follow THAT with a 20 yarder for the TD. Rayford seems to shine under these conditions.
A huge part of the offense for us has been... on the ground! What a shock. If we give the ball to Webb and DALLAS Rivers, they keep the offense churning. On top of that, that opens up the passing game which has helped the passing game there.
PS - shut up Vandy fans booing starting that last SCORING drive with a run. You got WHY when Webb broke the second one. You do not abandon the run game. Keep running. Old style football is what made the SEC great. We should keep doing that.
Our secondary is still bad. Not as bad as they were against Temple, but they still need work.
I'm done. It's been literally a week between when I started this game and when I finally had enough energy to sit back down and even think about addressing it. I can't do this anymore.
It's just as well, because UF is the only game I have left on tape, but even the idea of watching 6 more quarters of this is too much.
We got better over the course of the season, but even at our best we were not good. I'm holding entirely too much optimism for this season, but I do hope this series has tempered expectations. See y'all in the suicidal gamethread Thursday.