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Three Things That Changed the Game: Vanderbilt

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While there are often a large number of plays that decidedly impact a football game, there are almost always two to three things that really shape the game. You know. The big plays. The big stats. The battles within the game that are won or lost. Throughout football season, I will revisit three key happenings from the previous game and talk about the impact they had overall. While the chosen topics may not have ultimately decided the victor, they will always have had a profound impact on the game.

The three things I've chosen for the Vanderbilt game are:

1. Vanderbilt intercepting Zack Stoudt five times.

2. Zac Stacy 26 yard Statue of Liberty run to set up the first Vandy touchdown.

3. The rest of the game

Just for kicks, I've included a fan confidence poll on this post.

1. Vanderbilt intercepting Zack Stoudt five times.

Five. Five interceptions. That's horrendous. now I know that not all of that is on Stoudt, but some of it is. Some of it is also on the coaches for not knowing that intermediate routes exist. Not every throw has to be either a throw to the flats or a throw that is in the air for 25 yards. We've got to realize that there's a huge portion of the field that remains untapped for a large portion of our offense. I mean, when's the last time we completed more than one slant in a game under Nutt? Has that ever happened?

Zack Stoudt was hit a lot on his interceptions, but he's got to hold onto the ball sometimes and just take the sack. In a 0-0 tie game, you simply cannot turn the ball over. you just can't.

2. Zac Stacy 26 yard statue of liberty run to set up the first Vandy touchdown. 

The score was 0-0, and the defense was playing well. Then they gave up a huge run to their own six yard line because of a misdirection statue of liberty play. The defense didn't know where the ball was until Stacy was ten yards past the line of scrimmage, and it's actually pretty amazing that they were able to find it then. This would be the beginning of the end for the Rebels, as the first score would take the wind out of their sails and ultimately lead to problems all over the field. I posit that had the defense held the Comodores to a punt or missed field goal here, the game might have gone differently. After Vandy was the first to score, you could tell that the team wasn't the same.

3. The rest of the game

I promise that this won't be a recurring item after every loss, but I really struggled to single out another thing from this game. Everything went against the Rebs. Everything. It was terrible. And I'm not alluding to bad officiating at all. We just played horribly.