Thursday, December 13, 2012
Best/worst in 2012: Vanderbilt
By Edward Aschoff
Now that the regular season is over and the bowls have been announced, we thought we'd take a look back at the best and worst moments from the season for all 14 teams in the SEC.
It can be a play, an injury, a period of time, a player or players -- anything.
We're going in reverse alphabetical order, so we are starting with the Vanderbilt Commodores today:
Getting to a second consecutive bowl game for the first time in school history was great for the Commodores. It was something that had never been done before, but the way that Vandy reached the postseason was extremely impressive. After entering the month of October with an ugly 1-3 record, the Commodores bounced back to win seven of their next eight games, including ending the season on a six-game winning streak. Vandy hasn't had such a streak since 1955. The Commodores also won eight games for the first time since 1982 and won five SEC games for the first time since 1935. The Commodores also eliminated Tennessee from a bowl berth with their 41-18 drubbing of the Vols.
After such a great finish, people almost forgot about the Commodores' poor start to the season. An opening loss to South Carolina didn't shock anyone, but losing to Northwestern the following week temporarily raised some red flags with this team. Vandy not only started 0-2 but looked really bad in that second game. For a team that prided itself on an explosive offense in 2011, the Commodores couldn't get much of anything going offensively against a Northwestern team that surrendered 41 points and nearly 600 yards of offense to Syracuse the week before. Vandy mustered just 317 total yards of offense (only 36 rushing yards from star running back Zac Stacy) and 13 points, after holding a 10-3 halftime lead. The Commodores turned the ball over twice and gave up 17 fourth-quarter points in their 23-13 loss to the Wildcats.