- Joined: Sep 4, 2014
- Last Login: Sep 9, 2021, 4:53pm EDT
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Comment 8 recs
No surprise here, but I am putting the bulk of this on the coaching staff. After seeing games 2 and 3, there is NO QUESTION that this team had the talent to easily beat ETSU. They weren’t prepared and were not put in position the win. Additionally, the coaching staff has adjusted somewhat since ETSU. They’re not playing the same guys with the same minutes. I put that on personnel evaluation and preparation..
The ETSU game was a horrible and it wasn’t because of talent.
Now,, that goes to Seals. Seals didn’t get 100% of the first team reps in spring, summer,, or fall. They had a reduced spring because (culture and warming up for 2 weeks) and then he split reps throughout. The staff also were mixing guys up and not doing 1’s as in most talented. There’s a reason the comfort and familiarity is off. They just haven’t had the reps we would our first team QB & receivers to have.
Then, there’s the ETSU use of Seals in and out in and out. If that’s how they game planned you know that’s likely better than how they.were practicing..
Lastly, this doesn’t begin to ask the questions of coaching and preparedness.
Remember, the staff entered ETSU and played fewer than 50 guys and only 5 O-linemen (Hernandez and Clemens weren’t among them). I’m additionally curious because neither Dawkins nor Steen saw the field on Saturday. I’m curious if it’s injury or what.. Does anyone remember if Steen played? He was listed as starter on depth chart…
I think this entire staff is going to need some time to gel and find its footing. Currently, personally evaluation, game plan, player rotations, use of pre-season practice time, and attention to energy has not been done well. But, these are things that can be improved over time. Now, we’ve lost talent to portal (Henry-Brooks, Wakefield, Kaufman, etc) and now injury (Bresnehan, Warden, Wright, Davis).
On the good side, I think Lea has taken note of these issues and is trying to address them. The whole experimental staff with friends thing, whew, may rear it’s head too. But… there’s always week 5 or Covid-forfeot in week 4… there’s always a chance!!!
(How crazy would it be IF UGa forfeited Sat and then had to PAY US for lost ticket sales since we always sell.out VU-UGa because of uga fans…. all to get to 1-0 in the SEC!
Comment 1 reply, 10 recs
I think I watched a different game tonight. Instead of the 1 quarter and 1 drive we played last week, we played 28 minutes of football. That is an improvement.
I think this is an immature team, though. They play with their emptions on their sleeves. Once Seals threw that interception with a minute left in half, it’s as if the entire team lost all excitement. Confidence is way to fleeting for the guys.
The first 28 minutes were tight. The last 25 were fairly tight (of course the game was out of hand by 4th quarter). However, the fact that Stanford was stuck on 31 through the majority of the 3rd and 4th means the defense wasn’t atrocious. Likewise, Seals & special teams gave up field position so the 41 is somewhat deceptive.
With a banged up Davis and streaky Seals, this wasn’t a good result but it wasn’t embarrassing either. We gave Stanford this game to a degree like Colorado State gave us the last game.
We should be competitive in a few more games this year.
I’m also suspicious on how Seals is being coached up. This is not a Lea critique but a Lynch one.
Comment 1 rec
Loving the excitement on the side line!!!
Comment 1 reply
I'm not sure...
I think what you’re suggesting is partly true. But, it’s also school based. In the context of competing for top recruits who are considering elite academic institutions I think we have to realize that there are options at wide ranges of football ability: Stanford; Duke; Duke; Southern Cal; Notre Dame; and Wake sitting right on the outside of that list.
I’m not positive that claiming "football" decision is the move forward unless we’re looking at Duke. Now, I’m all about leaning into we’re the only elite academic institution you can attend and compete in the SEC.
Then,, we’re also talking guys that are Hugh academic achievers being recruited by state schools from your UVa & UNC to Nebraska, Purdue, OK State, and Illinois.
The question is, until we’re winning 7-8 per year, what makes Vandy the better "football" decision? I agree with Admiral, I’m hoping it was just culture talk. Because, this is the age of instant transfer. Guys will come and start right away an leave after a redshirt year and be immediately eligible to play for higher profile schools. That would be the better football decision.
Again, I can’t help but think Lea is moving the right way. He went on record with the Tennessean today saying he expects to use more players and increase their rotation on offense and defense. That’s what I’ve been advocating and it sounds like Lea is too! So, maybe this is more an issue of his offensive staff…
Comment 3 replies, 2 recs
I can’t go a week without hearing something from the Lea camp that just seems DUMB!
The Tennessean quoted Raih as saying that Vandy’s recruiting pitch is trying to get guys to focus in coming to Vandy as primarily a football decision!!!! The context, as I understood it, is this is in opposition to selling the school, the degree,, and the town. In lieu of pitching Vanderbilt University and Nashville, your pitch is come here it’s your best FOOTBALL DECISION!!!!!!!
I’m not saying it won’t work but the $!%@>#^#^.
In what world would Vandy EVER BE A TOP RECRUIT’S BEST FOOTBALL decision.
- smaller fanbase
- less resources
- harder classes
- less NIL opportunities
- less history and virtually no chance of making CFP.
I’m dumbfounded. This is also in the day and age of instant transfer. Even if Lea, Raih and company are focused on diamonds in the rough without better options, if everything is primarily a football decision they should transfer as soon as they get better offers (program and NIL).
I get it, you’re trying to build a positive, winning, football culture but that messaging is just dumb. To attract and retain players you have to pursue the right guys and make sure they’re committed to Vandy & Nashville. Does anyone else think that downplaying Vandy, Academics, Nashville and doubling down on VU as primarily "football" decision is a way to go…
Comment 1 reply, 2 recs
Vandy needs to:
*play more players than we did last week
- get to the red zone at least once in the first half
- have at least 5 solid possessions where our offense scores;
- win the turnover margin.
Best case scenario:
Lead by special teams, Vandy wins the starting field position battle by more than 15 yards. We get at least 3 field goals to make up for stalled or end of half/game drives.
Lea et al go big on the offensive line and keep a rotation of 7 to 9 bodies that includes Hernandez, Steen, Bailey & Clemens. Uzebo finally gets some playing time as well and looks good at RG.
Seals digs into his Freshman year to have a stellar performance. The quick passing game opens and simplified Oline scheme allows for Davis to average 5 yards per carry. He doesn’t break a homerun, but he gashes guys for a couple 10-20 yard runs. Mike Wright runs for at least 30 yards.
Pierce, Johnson, and Sheppard decide to play simon-says in the second half making a number of solid catches. Abdur-Rahman gets play at WR for more than 2 plays and breaks a big play.
On offense it comes down to 3rd down efficiency. If we’re above 50% conversion rate, our offense scores at least 2 touchdowns. (14+9=23)
If we are below 33% we probably score 1 or 0 offensive touchdowns and lose at least 1 fieldgoal (7+6=13).
The football gods look kindly on Lea. We get a couple favorable calls and an untimely, out of character targeting play leads to Stansbury being down a LB or DB. McKee, fresh off his first start, Pac12 accolades, and etc does what Freshmen QBs do. He has a down game. This is a classic trap game with a QB who isn’t used to it. Plus, Stanford doesn’t really consider Vandy an SEC team.
Our defense is our defense. Gives up some big plays, is up and down, but comes through at critical moments to keep the team in the game.
If it’s a good day, Vandy 38-Stanford 24.
If it’s what I think will really happen:
Vandy 27 Stanford 23.
If it’s a bad day:
Vandy 5 – Stanford 39.
Comment 1 reply, 3 recs
Not down on Lea
I’m definitely NOT down on Lea. I have zero doubt that under the right circumstances, breaks, and with fan support, booster backing, and institutional support that Lea has the potential to succeed at Vanderbilt. By succeed at Vanderbilt, I mean 2-4 bowls per five year cycle and contention for SEC East top 2-3 finish twice in an 8-12 year cycle (moving forwards finish 2 or 3 in our pod 3 out of 5 years)
Now, I liked Mason and don’t think he got a fair shake. He got the time but nothing else. He didn’t get the breaks, he got sandbagged on the roster and hiring/recruiting Time-line in year, and then for whatever reasons he lost 60% of the fanbase after game 1. A Thursday night game, in possibly one of Vandys longest ever weather delays, against a bowl bound Temple. Mason didn’t have a Mike Wright or Ken Seals on that roster. After Temple, 50-60% of the fanbase was done and anti-Mason. Even after he went bowling 2 out of 3 years, a sizable chunk of the fanbase was still anti-Mason. Additionally, Vandy didn’t catch up facility wise like Zeppos had promised. They pounded their chest about the mixed use student & athletic department indoor facility as they fell further behind Kentucky and the rest of FBS teams. The constant negative perception of Mason from Temple forward made him attracting a staff near impossible. From year 1 on, it would be hard pressed to get a desirable OC/DC without Mason connections to come in.
Back to Lea:
- Lea is a hometown guy with booster "connections" or at least networks.
- Lea is much more palatable to a larger swath of Vandy fan.
- Lea knows football and has studied under some successful coaches. He is obviously a talented and knowledgeable coach (i don’t have the info to say whether he’s a great mind or brilliant football strategist) Lea, at ND, performed well when he had more talent, did decent with comparable talent, but has never shown success at coaching up less Talent to overperform. Not a knock and not doubting he can, it’s just a different context.
- Lea is detail oriented and thoughtful.
- Lea enters with lowered expectations
- Lea has institutional support that has probably never been seen at VU
- Lea is entering VU when the SEC means way way way more (poaching Stanford, NW, Duke, Naval academy recruits) and can have NIL benefits as well
- Lea was hired with enough talent and experience to at least compete (not necessarily win) in most SEC games. We saw some of that talent leave and some of that talent benched but that talent has put work on tape like before
Now, I believe there are multiple waysbto6be successful. There are ways more or less palatable to me. I’m not a fan of Davw Clawson at Wake but there’s no debating the level to which he’s raised WFU Football. If Lea does it that way I’m still all in Vandy.
Now, I love hard nose discipline, but I believe that approach requires reciprocity. I wasn’t a fan of Lea’s approach to what’s been published in athletic or how he’s characterized stuff. Oh well. It’s his team.
But, when most of team hasn’t bought in (they still didn’t earn numbers) and they play as poorly as they have in the first two games I’m calling out those things. Especially when folks online were claiming there is no talent and nothing was left, I was just noting that Lea literally wasn’t playing some experienced and sized guys. I was asking about his philosophy because I firmly believe if enthused and prepared this Vandynteam could have won 5-7 games. That number is now 4-6.
Saturday, at the half down 7 you still didn’t see any hope or energy. It was after interception.
- with discipline
- with energy
- with cromulent coaching
- avoiding covid and strategic injuries
- with a couple breaks
Lea can have a great year!!! Now, we get to my theory. What is the best way to achieve this:
Option 1) Lea doubles down on denigrating pre-Lea tenure and convinces team his way is only to not be loser
Option 2) Lea maintains his culture build but has less emphasis on erasure of past and seeks ways to build unity and fire while finding schemes and ways to play most of our better talent now.
I like Option 2. I have no proof, but I think Lea figured he could get buy in by reducing playing time in game one. Show guys that he’s willing to bench them for not playing ball his way. I think Lea also thought he could just roll out our second team (like at ND) and beat an FCS team. Hence, the lack of PT for McCalester in game one, Rahman only on special teams, and the decision to not play our Oline size.
So, I don’t think Lea is dumb and I do believe the team is finding confidence. I also think Seals is an actual talent. So, if we can find 3 quarters of football and get certain guys on field… yup, a Stanford squad that just ended Helton’s career is definitely possibly maybe under the right circumstances and moonlight a winnable game. But, it’ll take Lea doing his thing!!
And, that’s what I’m leaning into for this Saturday!!!!
Anchor Down, GO DORES!!!
Comment 1 reply, 3 recs
I take it...
We want the team focused of the "process" and not the results…. right?
I know I’m early but I’m saying VU wins 24-20…
Comment 1 reply
Sad to see.Warden go down...
Just want to point to the increased roles of Julian Hernandez, Dan Dawkins and Cole Clemens in the second half on Saturday after not sniffIng the field against ETSU. I’m still hopeful Bryce Bailey or Stewart gets to the point where they can contribute. I don’t know for sure, but I think I saw Seals become more comfortable when Ashemore, Dawkins, and Hernandez were in with Warden (I think). It was hard to keep track of rotation.
Comment 5 recs
Congrats to Coach Lea and the Dores!!!!
Comment 3 recs
There it goes!!!!
Comment 1 reply, 3 recs
I'm seeing energy!!!!
I’m seeing hope!!!!!
But to answer your question:
- CSU (or CA&M) is really a poor football team
- Their kicker is…. Let’s just say they could use S. Fuller
Comment 1 reply, 6 recs
I never thought that I’d consider. SEC refs may help our chances…
- close but fair 15 yard late hit call
- intriguing unsportsmanlike conduct call takes them out of field goal range. Will TAKE IT!
Comment 1 reply, 8 recs
They still don’t look hype. It’s a 7 point game.
Just like that!!!!