September 11, 2011

Our take after the Connecticut game

Vanderbilt blew an 11-point lead, but came back in the final minutes for a 24-21 over Connecticut on Sunday night.'s experts Jesse Johnson and Chris Lee were there to cover it, and they give their "takes" on the state of the team after week two.

Jesse's take:

1. Vanderbilt is going to win games with a total team effort
Fans and media will typically cite stats or one side of the ball that leads a team, but the 2011 Commodore team may not be defined by either this season. Coach James Franklin said prior to the season that this team would be aggressive in all three phases of the game. Through the first two games, that's been evident.

Last week, the Commodore defense struggled against a high-level receiver but the offense made a series of plays to keep VU in position to win before the defense came around in the fourth quarter.

This week, the offense had big scoring drives to grab early momentum, but the defense became the story of the game by limiting the Huskies to no offensive touchdowns and just 122 total yards in the final 52 minutes of the game. Special teams in both games have also been close to sharp by allowing no big returns and there have been no mistakes in the kicking game.

It may not always be pretty, and there will likely be games where a total team effort will still likely fall short against some of the elite teams on the schedule, but that's nothing new. In fact, several key members of this Commodore team were a part of a total team in 2008 and it's no surprise that these players have been some to buy into Franklin's message so quickly.

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