Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Midseason review: Vanderbilt
By Chris Low
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
The breakthrough season of a year ago probably seems like it was ages ago for Vanderbilt, which has struggled miserably on offense this season and heads into Saturday’s game against South Carolina on a three-game losing streak. The Commodores (2-5, 0-4) simply haven’t been able to get anything going on offense, particularly in the passing game. In their five losses this season, they’ve scored a total of 42 points and have scored 10 or fewer points in four of those five losses. Sophomore quarterback Larry Smith hasn’t played well, completing just 45.8 percent of his passes to go along with seven interceptions and three touchdowns. But it’s not like he’s had a bunch of receivers getting open and making plays for him, either. Vanderbilt’s defense has been solid and deserves a lot better. But when your offense isn’t scoring any points, sooner or later you wear down.
Offensive MVP: RB Warren Norman. Quietly, Norman has put together one of the best freshman seasons in the league. He’s rushed for 450 yards and is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He’s also second to Alabama’s Mark Ingram in the SEC with 1,074 all-purpose yards. Norman returns kickoffs for the Commodores and has already taken one back for a touchdown this season.
Defensive MVP: LB Chris Marve. Several guys on Vanderbilt’s defense deserve mention, namely cornerback Myron Lewis, by Marve has been in the middle of everything defensively for the Commodores. He’s second in the SEC with 65 total tackles and is second on Vanderbilt’s team with five tackles for loss and has also forced three fumbles.