In 1955 Vanderbilt dominated No. 8 Auburn 25-13 in route to the Commodores' first ever bowl…
3 Revisited - Vanderbilt at Tennessee
Vanderbilt kept their November winning streak alive and well on Saturday with a last ditch come from behind victory stunning Tennessee in Knoxville. The 14-10 win marks the first back to back wins over the Vols since a streak of six straight from 1920-26. It also is a step toward improving the 'Dores bowl game while condemning Tennessee to a losing season for the fourth straight year, something that hasn't happened since just after the turn of the LAST century (1902-06). It wasn't pretty, it wasn't easy, but a win over a rival is always a huge one.
Let's take a look back at the three keys and see how this thing played out.
1) Stop the run - Push
Coming into the game Tennessee was averaging 185 yards on the ground per contest. On Saturday in Knoxville the Vols combined to run for 184 yards, just one short of that average. The 'Dores did a very solid job on star running back Rajion Neal, holding him under 100 yards on his 22 carries and allowing him just 4.3 yards per tote. They actually had more trouble with his back-up Marlin Lane who was able to reel off 9 carries for 53 yards at 5.7 per rush.
The key though, was containing quarterback Joshua Dobbs when he broke contain and that is something that the Commodores did very well. The fleet footed Dobbs, who was not a risk to throw all night because of the ultra-conservative Vols game plan, was only able to pick up 23 yards on his 11 carries. When you contrast this with some of the issues Vandy had containing quarterback runs early in the season this is very promising moving forward.
2) Run the ball - Fail
If Tennessee had an ultra conservative game plan then the method of attack that James Franklin put together was really not much further along on the aggression scale. The 'Dores platooned quarterbacks, but it because obvious early on that when Patton Robinette game in he was going to be used as nothing more than a wildcat like running option. The result of this was Tennessee stacking the box against Robinette and Vandy eking out a rushing performance where the 31 team carries only put up 90 yards. It wasn't really until the very last series of the game, ironically, when it was all Austyn Carta-Samuels until the final play, when the offense seemed to get in any kind of rhythm. Throw in the ugly fumble problems and you have a game where Vandy had to dig deep to come out with a huge win.
3) Making the most of turnovers – Pass
With the way the offense was turning the ball over themselves it was key that Vanderbilt made the most of the three Tennessee turnovers on the day. They did so with the very first pick of Dobbs, taking the ball down the field and putting together the best drive of the first 55 minutes moving from the Vandy 39 and ending with a Jerron Seymour rushing touchdown. The two first half interceptions of Dobbs scaled back the passing attack of Tennessee to almost non-existent levels, while the late pick on one of the worst fake field goals you will ever see shifted momentum back in the favor of Vandy for the final few minutes of the game. For a defense that finished the game without a single regular start on the field it was an impressive perfomance.
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