Almost Everything Went Wrong In Vandy's 42-24 Loss at Purdue

Penalties, Mistakes, Bad Calls All Contribute To Disheartening Loss

It would be easier to list the things that went right for Vanderbilt because not much would cover it. Listing what went wrong in their 42-24 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers will take much longer.

THE RIGHT

The Commodores offense managed to move the football at times and scores a few-too few-points including two fourth quarter scoring drives. 

THE WRONG 

I'm tired just thinking about this one, but I can't just cop-out and say almost everything, though it would be accurate.

Defense MIA: Purdue quarterback Elijiah Sindelar and reciever Rondale Moore both set career highs against an SEC that looked more like something from the Big-12.

Sindelar tourched the Commodores for 510 yards, completing 34 of 52 attempts for 5 touchdowns and one interception. 

Moore was the top target in this aerial assault. He managed 13 receptions for220 yards and a touchdown.       

Yes Moore is a future NFL talent, but so were three quarters of the skill players this same defense faced a week earlier. Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and the Commodores defense had no answers in the second half as the Boilers went up and down the field in scoring 28 points while the Dores offense was trying to mount a comeback. .    

To be fair, the run defense was very good, limiting Purdue to 31 yards rushing. It was the 510 passing yards they allowed that hurt. 

Penalties: Purdue was flagged 8 yimes during the game, but Vandy  surpassed them with ease,, collecting 12 penalties for 100 yards with many of them coming in critical situations that kept Purdue drives alive.  

Offensive Line: Once again this week the o-line was bad. Purdue defensive coordinator Nick Holt contiually dialed up blitz pressures anytime the Commodores faced a third down and more than two yards. Repeatedly the pressures worked and forced quarterback Riley Neal to attempt to scramble or make poor decisions, including an interception and being called for intentional grounding.  

Quarterback Play: Neal's stat line doesn't look terrible, but there were times when his decision making was slow and even bad. A terrible interception and a the grounding penalty are part of the problems in this loss. 

Neal finished the game 24 of 34 for 378 yards with two touchdowns and an interceptions.

Deuce Wallace didn't fair much better when he was inserted into the game, finishing 7 of 14 for 42 yards. 

Coaching: I'm no football coach, and I won't claim to be here, but I have been around the game, including many years covering the NFL so I think I'm knowledgeable enough to go here. 

The game plan from the start seemed confusing. Purdue's d-line was not great against the run as Vanderbilt's offensive line was able to get some push on them-when they weren't being blitzed- and yet the play calling gave the riunning backs a combined 20 carries. 

Then there was the 4th an half yard call to throw the football. You have Ke'SHawn Vaughn and choose to throw the football. 

Yes I know that Purdue was run blitzing but when you have the better line then you almost have to run the football. A very smart old coach told me years ago that there are three things that happen when you throw the ball and two are bad. 

Again I'm not a coach, but why not go 5 wide there, take defenders out of the box, put Neal under center and just run the QB sneak. He's athletic and we're told he can run. Keep it simple! 

The Commodores have a lot of improvement to make before returning to the field in two weeks to face LSU in Nashville. What we saw today will make for a long Saturday against the Tigers if some things don't get fixed and cleaned up between now and then,      

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