Sunday, September 20, 2009

Commodore fans should brace themselves

This quote from Larry Smith pretty much sums up last night's nightmarish 15-3 loss to Mississippi State:

"They blitzed pretty heavily the entire tonight, and we didn't pick them up. We didn't execute, didn't throw the ball well, didn't catch the ball at all. Overall, the offense played poorly."

We've said this before, but Vandy will never be able to play the grind-it-out possession game that Bobby Johnson would like. Yes, we've got some tough, hard-working athletes who are as close to SEC caliber as perhaps we've ever had. But our offensive line was getting pushed back pretty good and we couldn't run. If the receivers can catch when Larry throws a good one and if Larry can throw when the receivers are wide open, then maybe we can put something together. But as we found out last night, we can't run when we can't pass. And right now we just plain can't pass.

It hurts, but we're in a period of transition. Everybody's saying we need a quick-strike tricky offense, and we're saying it here now. And we're trying to do it right now. Here are the problems:

• We've got small receivers that wouldn't be playing anywhere else in the SEC.

• We're breaking in a young quarterback who's supposedly the coolest customer anybody's ever seen in the huddle. OK, how about in the pocket?

• Our offensive line is experienced but they're still no match for those huge SEC defensive fronts. And I think James Williams meant more to this team than we knew. We haven't moved the ball worth a dang since he got hurt, especially on the ground. And Stacy got most of his best runs off Williams.

• Our team is built around defense and special teams, and our offense needs to keep the defense off the field. So now we're running a no-huddle offense that just makes us go three and out faster than ever before.

These are facts. The truth is, we're in a rebuilding process. We're not getting the breaks and the miracles we got last season and now we're forced to actually rebuild an offense that was among the three worst in the nation.

If you're a Vandy fan and want to remain a Vandy fan, I advise patience. As it's always been, this is a long hard road. We're going to struggle this season but we're awfully young on offense. The goal, I think, is to get the kinks worked out of our offense this season and be ready for next season. Maybe working out the kinks involves making a few adjustments among our offensive coaches. Just a thought.

Rice is up next. And the Owls are our new game of the year. Can't wait to see the spread on that one. Hopefully we're not favored.


Greg M said...

We have our first winning season in 30 something years and we have to go into a rebuilding process. An Auburn team that we beat last year blows out Miss State and puts up 500 yards of offense. It's coaching boys. We have a few good ones and a few that are clearly in way over their heads and MUST be replaced, PERIOD. So sick and tired of hearing Bobby talk about not executing, quit hanging all the blame on your players and hold your coaching staff accountable.

Vandy-Montana said...

Ah, typical Vanderbilt football. Last year must have been a dream...


I've been thinking that too. Perhaps last season was not a stepping stone to bigger things but the actual pinnacle of success for Vanderbilt football.

But we do have some awfully talented players who are planning to play for us next season. That is, if they didn't watch last night's game.

Greg N said...

I don't think last year was a fluke. The year before we were 11 points away from being 8-4. Our defense has been good enough to keep us in games, I think we won a few games dispite Ted Cain. Kost alot more because of him though. Just had the defense save us on enough to mget 7 wins last year. Our talent has gotten better, but we will not get over the hump with Ted there.

Vandy-Montana said...

I do think last year was the pinnacle. As long as we are in the SEC, we will never be a better than .500 team, even when the SEC, as a whole, is down. I don't want to believe that, but the last 10 years of my life have led me to take this as a fact. I knew that when I signed on. This morning when I found out the score (was at a wedding) was one of the worst feelings I've had as a dores fan. The one great thing about Vandy football is we will occasionally knock off some top twenty teams (UGA, USC, Auburn), but the loses in the games we SHOULD WIN are what kill me (MTSU, MSU, UT).

Vandy-Montana said...

Oh, and I definitely think we need to get rid of some coaches. Our recruiting as vastly improved with Johnson, but after Montana beat Furman in the Nat'l Championship in '01 I knew Johnson and his crew would be offered the Vandy job. I did NOT want that as I knew his vanilla offensive schemes at furman couldn't work at Vandy due to the lack of physical size and ability of the typical vandy offensive line.

SUVandy said...

Need to get Larry Smith setting his feet. The roll-out early where he did not set his feet then threw him off in straight drop back. They need to start the game having him do 3- 5- and 7-step drop backs then rolling him out. Have him throw short passes early to build confidence. This would build his footwork early in a game then on roll outs later he would have confidence and better form.

They also need to work on his footwork in general.

The WRs need to catch the ball when Smith does get it to them. Vandy also can not have mistakes on Special teams.

Anonymous said...

It's time for Goro to have his shot


It's interesting that one of Larry's strengths coming out of high school was his ability to throw on the run.