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LSU 23 - Vandy 9: Snap Judgments

Big win tonight.  I am reasonably pleased.  My quick thoughts:

  • Great job defense.  Just outstanding.  I can't say enough about how well this defense responded to a lot of criticism.  They gave up really only one good drive, and then came up big again and again when the offense put them in bad spots in the second half.
  • I'm upset that the announcers stole my thunder towards the end of the game by pointing out how quiet Patrick Peterson was.  The announcers were right that "quiet" for Peterson means "great".  He was locked one-on-one with a Vandy receiver on his side of the field all night and Vandy QB Larry Smith just didn't even challenge him.  They seemed content just to run him out of the play.
  • The whole defensive line played well.  I know some naysayers will point to some nice plays Vandy made, but it's inevitable that a competent offense will make the occasional nice play.  We stuffed them for no gain or short gains time and again, and we did a good job of getting off the field on 3rd down, as Vandy was 4 of 15 on 3rd down, and 1 of 2 on 4th down.  On first viewing I can't single out any one defensive lineman, as Woods, Nevis, Alem, Lavar Edwards, Charles Alexander, and others made plays at one time or another.
  • One of the new faces on the defense, Brandon Taylor, had a very good game, picking up an interception, making a couple nice tackles, and generally being competent. 
  • The defense saved the offense's bacon tonight.  We had too many 3-and-outs, and more than one negative possession in the second half.  Vandy had great field position for most of the 2nd half thanks to three consecutive possessions in which we ran a total of nine plays with two punts and a bad-snap safety.
  • Speaking of the bad snap safety, the long snapper on punts is actually a scholarship player whose only role on the team, as a sophomore, is to be the punt snapper.  It is doubtful that this is a wise use of a scholarship in any event, and he better be flawless the rest of the season.
  • Jordan Jefferson's ATVSQBPI was 4.0.  A big part of the problem was way too many completed passes that went for very short or negative yardage.  Another problem was the offensive line play, which again was not up to snuff for long stretches.  Jefferson was running for his life every time he dropped back to pass in those 3 bad possessions.
  • Keiland Williams had a really great game, averaging 7.2 yards per carry with the game-clinching touchdown.  Charles Scott is still trying to get it going, as he averaged only 3.8 yards per carry.  He had some nice runs, but the blocking just wasn't there consistently.
  • Great to see R.J. Jackson get so many touches, including one that led directly to a score that could have ended up being very important.
  • We finally saw Russell Shepard, and while he was productive, hopefully his fumble will be a learning experience for him.  I'm still waiting to see Reuben Randle touch the ball.
  • Except for Trindon Holliday's fumble, the return game was really quite good tonight.
  • I caught sight of Morris Claiborne in the game and making a tackle.