The Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 31-17 on Saturday morning at Vanderbilt Stadium. Prior to the game, VandyMania.com established three keys to a Commodores victory. We will now review those three keys.
1) WHITE SWARMED BY BLACK DEATH DEFENSE - PASS
Mike White did finish with 324 yards passing but he was sacked five times and forced to throw many passes for short gains. He finally left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury. Charles Wright and Dayo Odeyingbo each had a pair of sacks. Jordan Griffin and Josh Smith also had sacks for Vandy during the game. The VU defense also got a rare interception when Ryan White ended it all for WKU with a pick in the final minute of the game.
2) SHURMUR HAS A CAREER DAY PASSING - PASs
Kyle Shurmur had a very good day but not a career day. Part of that was not Shurmur's fault. Vandy only had 21 passing attempts during the game as they mostly went with the run game. For the game, Shurmur was 14 of 21 for 220 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Trent Sherfield caught the first Shurmur scoring pass from four yards out to put VU up 7-0 on its first drive. The second TD pass was a cannon shot to the end zone to that ricocheted off another receiver and into Trey Ellis' hands, who was heading full stride into the end zone, for the 31-yard touchdown reception. Hey, it counts as a touchdown pass, just like a similar situation where a ball is deflected off a receiver's hands and into the arms of an opposing DB counts as an interception.
3) DOMINATE FROM START TO FINISH - PUSH
Vanderbilt did drive down the field and take an early 7-0 lead. They never trailed during the game but they only led 21-17 early in the third quarter. Sherfield's 45-yard end around run for a TD put the 'Dores up by double digits though, and Vandy cruised to a much-needed victory. We'll take it, for sure. The 14-point win was likely be appreciated by those fans with cardiac issues and maybe not so appreciated by cardiologists.
Vanderbilt now enters a critical 3-game stretch against SEC East opponents. First up is Kentucky on Saturday in Nashville.