Another Saturday and another loss for the Vanderbilt Commodores fell to 0-3 on the season following Saturday's 41-7 home loss to South Carolina. In fairness to head coach Derek Mason and his staff and team, multiple starters could not participate against the Gamecocks.
Still, the performance of those who did play was less than stellar as a team. Many of the team's issues were thought to have entering the season were on display in this contest. Players played hard and battled till the final whistle, but it wasn't enough.
What we witnessed was once again all over the board in terms of play in this one.
PRESSURE: The Commodores defense got after Carolina quarterback Collin Hill, sacking him twice and hitting him seven other times on dropbacks. It was their best game in these categories. However, the Gamecocks had issues entering the game, having allowed eight sacks in their first two games combined.
Dayo Odeyingbo finished the afternoon with 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries to lead the effort. Vanderbilt was able to take advantage of an opponent's weakness, which they should do, but it still wasn't enough.
Keyon Henry-Brooks: His return to the field was a boost to the Commodore's running game. He showed speed and vision and added another piece to the position Todd Fitch can attempt to build around in the coming week.
Run Defense: While the Commodores were able to take advantage of the Carolina offensive line in pass protection, the visitors returned the favor by smashing the Vanderbilt front seven in the run game while leading the way for their running backs to ramble for 289 yards on the day.
Run Blocking: The Commodores run game was almost nonexistent, managing a net 76 yards- quarterback sack yardage of -20 hurt them here. Still, it wasn't a great day overall upfront as the lime lead the way for only 249 yards and seven points on the day.
Third and Fourth Downs: The Commodores were a combined one of 14 on third and fourth down conversions. For the game, they were 1 -11 on third and 0-3 fourth downs. They could not stay on the field, which is troubling considering those numbers were better against both Texas A&M and LSU than in this one against a winless Gamecock squad.
Off Field: The Commodores were severely limited before they ever walked into the stadium, having just 56 scholarship players available, with the SEC minimum being 53 players to play a game.