Rapid Reaction: Vanderbilt falls late to Missouri
The Vanderbilt Commodores (2-6, 0-5 SEC) fell 24-14 to Missouri (6-2, 3-1) on Saturday. The Tigers held a 385-240 advantage in total yards and a 31:09-28:51 edge in time of possession.
Here are a couple of thoughts on the game:
What it means: Vanderbilt managed to stay close against an SEC opponent through four quarters for the first time all season. Prior to Bud Sasser’s late-game touchdown, the Commodores were within three points from tying the game. Vanderbilt has some fight and could give opponents fits moving forward. The Commodores looked more impressive in a losing effort than they did squeaking out a victory over FCS Charleston Southern.
What I liked: Vanderbilt’s offense looks improved. Johnny McCrary was efficient in his first career start, recording 196 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 17-of-31 passing. McCrary found Nathan Marcus and C.J. Duncan for scores to keep the Commodores within contention throughout the contest.
What I didn’t like: Ralph Webb’s lack of touches. Coach Derek Mason said earlier this week that the redshirt freshman would see more carries late into games. However, Webb finished with 16 attempts for 34 yards in Saturday’s loss.
Who’s the man: Johnny McCrary. The redshirt freshman looked improved after having two weeks of practice with the first team offense. McCrary provided mobility to answer the talented Missouri pass rush. Vanderbilt may have found its new starting quarterback after Saturday’s game.
Key Play: Maty Mauk found Bud Sasser for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. The play put Missouri ahead 24-14 after being ahead just three points late into the fourth quarter. The play ended Vanderbilt’s push to an upset and secured a victory for the Tigers.
What’s next: Vanderbilt will host Old Dominion (3-5) on Nov. 1.