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Missouri 33, Vanderbilt 28: Missed opportunities doom the Commodores again

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Same story, different week.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Five Factors Vanderbilt Missouri
Five Factors Vanderbilt Missouri
Plays 64 82
Total Yards 465 505
Yards Per Play 7.27 6.16
Rushing Attempts 27 48
Rushing Yards 227 256
Rushing YPP 8.41 5.33
Passing Attempts 37 34
Passing Yards 238 249
Passing YPP 6.43 7.32
Rushing Success Rate 48.15% 58.33%
Passing Success Rate 40.54% 50.00%
Success Rate 43.75% 54.88%
Avg. Field Position 32 22.7
PP40 3.5 4.71
Turnovers 0 2

Really, what else needs to be said about Saturday’s game?

Vanderbilt and Missouri were two evenly-matched teams. Yards per play and success rate paint a picture of one team (Missouri) that was able to dink and dunk its way down the field, but didn’t have a ton of big plays; the Tigers had just four plays of 20 yards or more. Vanderbilt had nine such plays, but the Commodores’ offense was less successful if it wasn’t ripping off big chunks of yardage. That tie should have been broken by Missouri committing two turnovers to Vanderbilt’s zero, and both turnovers happened to give Vanderbilt excellent field position: Vanderbilt had a significant advantage in starting field position thanks to two drives that started at the Missouri 30 and the Missouri 35, both off Drew Lock interceptions.

Only they didn’t. Vanderbilt’s offense generated six scoring chances and the defense gifted the offense two more scoring chances, for a total of eight. Four of those came up empty, with Ryley Guay shanking a 41-yard field goal in the first quarter; Ke’Shawn Vaughn getting stuffed at the goal line on the first play of the fourth quarter; the offense going one yard in four plays following Lock’s second interception; and the Commodores’ last-ditch drive ending on an incomplete pass in the end zone.

This has, unfortunately, been a recurring theme for the Commodores. Having a bunch of scoring chances come up empty in a single game might be a fluke, but this seems to happen every week. Honestly, much of it comes back to having an unreliable kicker; when your kicker is 9-of-16 on the season — including a shaky 4-of-6 inside 30 yards, kicks that are gimmes for an average kicker — you’re going to struggle to finish drives, not only because your kicker is missing field goals left and right, but also because it can dictate playcalling inside the 30. It leads to a lot of risk-taking that wouldn’t be necessary if you knew you could just kick a field goal.

Now, obviously, this loss wasn’t entirely the kicker’s fault. (Failing to score a touchdown on first and goal at the 4 has nothing to do with the kicker, after all.) But it’s been a big deal all season.

Passing

Passing Comp Att Comp % Yds TD INT Sacks Yds Lost Net Yds Success Rate YPP
Passing Comp Att Comp % Yds TD INT Sacks Yds Lost Net Yds Success Rate YPP
Kyle Shurmur 24 34 70.60% 249 3 0 2 11 238 41.67% 6.6

Receiving

Receiving Targets Catches Yds TD Catch Rate Yds/Target Yds/Catch Success Rate
Receiving Targets Catches Yds TD Catch Rate Yds/Target Yds/Catch Success Rate
Kalija Lipscomb 10 8 99 1 80.00% 9.9 12.4 70.00%
Jared Pinkney 7 5 88 1 71.40% 12.6 17.6 42.86%
C.J. Bolar 6 2 9 0 33.30% 1.5 4.5 16.67%
Chris Pierce 4 3 27 0 75.00% 6.8 9 50.00%
Khari Blasingame 4 2 11 0 50.00% 2.8 5.5 0.00%
Ke'Shawn Vaughn 2 2 14 1 100.00% 7 7 100.00%
Sam Dobbs 1 1 1 0 100.00% 1 1 0.00%
Donaven Tennyson 1 1 0 0 100.00% 0 0 0.00%

A weird day in the passing game. Kyle Shurmur completed over 70 percent of his passes and only got sacked twice; nonetheless, Vanderbilt had just over a 41 percent success rate on passing plays. That resulted from a bunch of passing plays that went nowhere.

Rushing

Rushing Att Yds YPA TD Success Rate
Rushing Att Yds YPA TD Success Rate
Ke'Shawn Vaughn 15 182 12.1 1 53.33%
Khari Blasingame 6 6 1 0 0.00%
Kyle Shurmur 3 11 3.7 0 66.67%
Kalija Lipscomb 2 15 7.5 0 100.00%
Donaven Tennyson 1 13 13 0 100.00%

Just a rough day for Khari Blasingame. For reference, here were Blasingame’s six carries on the game:

  • 3rd and 4 at Missouri 24 (1st quarter): gained 1 yard
  • 3rd and 2 at VU 43 (2nd quarter): gained 1 yard
  • 1st and goal at Missouri 3 (3rd quarter): gained 1 yard
  • 1st and goal at Missouri 4 (3rd quarter): gained 1 yard
  • 2nd and goal at Missouri 3: gained 2 yards
  • 3rd and goal at Missouri 1: no gain

Look... it’s not really his fault that literally every defensive player knows that Andy Ludwig’s default play call in short-yardage situations is “Blasingame up the middle”... but that’s rough.

On the other hand, Ke’Shawn Vaughn... wow. Can somebody explain why he only got 15 carries though?

What’s Next

Vanderbilt needs to win its last two to become bowl eligible, and the good news is that both of the remaining teams on the schedule are 5-5. Up first: Ole Miss, which lost to Texas A&M on Saturday, will come to Nashville at 6:30 PM CT next Saturday.