The Gold team, consisting mostly of the Vanderbilt offense, stood victorious at the Commodores spring game on Friday night. With multiple quarterbacks rotating in, Vandy moved the ball in spurts against its own defense, but failed to garner any real consistency with its playmaking.
Here are the main takeaways from Friday night's action:
1. Kyle Shurmur and Wade Freebeck look roughly equal three months into 2016. Vanderbilt's in for another quarterback battle this summer. Shawn Stankavage looked good in his limited snaps -- especially playing with a smattering of third-string receivers -- but his accuracy seems a step behind those first two passers.
2. Caleb Peart and Charles Wright look like difference-makers on defense.
3. The offensive line needs a healthy Andrew Jelks, and the arrival of top-five 2016 center Sean Auwae will help, too.
4. Khari Blasingame could have a much bigger impact than I'd ever imagined as a hybrid fullback.
Here's our brief review. Warning: tons of big GIFs ahead, so things may take a while to load.
Charles Wright had an eye-opening performance at outside linebacker. Thankfully for Kyle Shurmur, quarterbacks were exempt from contact:
The offense recovered, however. Khari Blasingame scored the spring game's first touchdown with this one-yard rumble:
One drive later, Vanderbilt's offense stalled on the right side of the field, but that gave Tommy Openshaw the chance to drill a 51-yard field goal:
The defense got back on track by stopping a Gold drive deep in its own territory. Emmanuel Smith ripped the ball from Darrius Sims' hands to create a turnover in the second quarter:
These two teams headed into Jay Cutler's retirement ceremony at 13-12. Some special teams mini-games pushed the Gold lead to 21-14 for the start of the third quarter.
Josh Crawford kicked off the second half with a pile-pushing run on third-and-short:
Wade Freebeck's 26-yard pass to Ronald Monroe moved Gold to the 1-yard line, but Caleb Peart had no interest in giving up another Blasingame touchdown:
One play later, Freebeck did the job himself:
Gold's next drive stalled, thanks in part to another line-exploding play from Caleb Peart:
Redshirt freshman Jaire George capped off the Spring game with the last big gain of the night, ripping off this 18-yard run: