Here’s how Vanderbilt graded in its 24-14 Week 9 loss to Missouri.


Johnny McCrary had an impressive debut as Vanderbilt’s starting quarterback. The redshirt freshman threw for 196 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 17-of-31 passing. Ralph Webb rushed for 34 yards on 16 carries. This came just days after head coach Derek Mason said the freshman would see an increase in touches late in games. Instead, Webb had just five carries in the third quarter and zero in the fourth.


Vanderbilt’s defense held Maty Mauk to 141 yards on 11-of-23 passing. Though 24 points allowed is far from a dominant performance, its the second lowest total allowed by the Commodores against an SEC opponent all season. Vanderbilt’s 28:15 time of possession helped keep its defense from staying on the field and allow more points.


Vanderbilt’s special teams held Missouri to a 11.7 kick return average and a 9.0 punt return average. However, the Commodores only managed one yard on one punt return. Tommy Openshaw was 2-for-2 on extra point attempts.


Derek Mason coached well enough to keep his overmatched team in contention through four quarters. The Commodores scored two offensive touchdowns, which is the most against an SEC opponent this season. However, Vanderbilt was also too conservative to take the risks necessary to capture the victory.


Despite a losing effort, Vanderbilt looked more impressive on Saturday than in any previous SEC matchup. The Commodores avoided a blowout against an inferior Missouri team, even considering the Tigers recent struggles. Vanderbilt needs to focus on its young nucleus and build a competitive roster moving forward.