April 12, 2014
Final Stats | Quotes | Howell's Photos
Mason | Robinette & McCrary | Webb & Herring | Azubike & Marcus
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
It was all defense in the 2014 Black and Gold Spring Game until late in the fourth quarter when Patton Robinette took the offense 65 yards for the deciding touchdown in the 21-16 victory, Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium.
In this non-traditional Spring Game the Commodores elected to play offense versus defense, with the offense wearing the gold and the defense donning the all black uniforms.
A modified scoring system was used during the game. The offensive team used tradition scoring, with the lone exception being "explosive plays". Explosive plays, or plays of 15 or more yards resulted in one point for the offensive team. The defensive team could score points on defensive touchdowns (12), interceptions (6), fumble recoveries (6), missed field goals (3), sacks (1), unsuccessful two-point conversions (2) and three-and-outs (1).
After a slow first half the offense outscored the defense 11-1 after intermission to escape with the victory in the first Spring Game under head coach Derek Mason.
"Our goal was to come out here and not saturate these guys with the playbook," Mason said, "but more or less find out what they know, what they can process, and to see the skill set and how they can play. I saw some really good things on both sides."
With a running clock in the fourth quarter the defense needed to make stops, holding onto a 15-14 lead to take the win. Vince Taylor picked up a sack to give the defense a two-point advantage but back-to-back completions from Robinette set up a third-and-one for the offense. Looking to get after the quarterback and add to their point total, the defense jumped the count and was called offsides to give the offense a fresh set of downs.
On the next play Robinette took a shot at the end zone trying to hit Trey Wilkins for the score, but Tre Bell was called for a pass interference penalty to bring the offense inside the red zone.
With the clock winding down, Robinette ran the ball three times for 16 yards capped off by a one-yard score to seal the win for the offense.
The defense picked up three quick points in the first quarter on sacks from Jay Woods, Ryan White and Barron Dixon.
It looked like the defense would run away with it, adding three point early in the second quarter to take a 9-1 lead, but the offense showed its first spark of the game as Ralph Webb took the ball 60-yards down the sideline for the score. The play resulted in eight points for the offense to knot the game up at 9-9.
It looked like Robinette would lead the Gold team down the field for another score at the end of the half after a 17-yard pass to Dillon van der Wal, but Caleb Azubike forced a Brian Kimbrow fumble on the goal line which was recovered by Oren Burks to add six points for the defense.
The defense held a 15-10 advantage at the half.
Robinette finished the game 9-of-11 passing for 89 yards.
Johnny McCrary finished 10-of-18 for 94 yards.
Webb led all rushers with 114 yards on 14 carries, including a big 60-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Brian Kimbrow added 55 yards on 11 touches.
"I think our ability to run the ball is probably going to be as good as it's ever been," Mason said. "I feel good about the stable of running backs. We have three running backs that can run behind their pads. The offensive line did a great job reestablishing the line of scrimmage and we did a great job of capturing the edge
Gerald Perry led all receivers with four catches for 29 yards. Nathan Marcus picked up 26 yards on three receptions.
The defense had seven sacks in the game, led by a pair from redshirt freshman Jay Woods. Woods, Bell, Harding Harper, Darreon Herring and Jimmy Stewart all finished with a game-high three tackles.
A crowd of 8,400 fans were in attendance on a gorgeous day with temperatures in the 70s. The game was televised on tape delay by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) and will air at 6:30 p.m. CT on April 23.
Brian Kimbrow notches the Commodores' first first down of the day with a three-yard run before drives stalls after sacks by Jay Woods and Ryan White.
Tommy Openshaw misses 32-yard field goal. Drive included four first downs, highlighted by 4th down conversion by Johnny McCrary on 1-yard run and 21-yard pass to CJ Duncan.
Drive looks promising with a 14-yard run by Brian Kimbrow and 12-yard completion to Steven Scheu, but is halted by a tackle for loss and a sack by Jimmy Stewart on consecutive plays.
Three and out - Jay Woods notches his second sack of the game.
Touchdown on Ralph Webb's 60-yard run around right end. 2 play, 66-yard drive.
Drive stalls following two straight incompletions by Patton Robinette. Drive enters the red zone after three straight Brian Kimbrow rushes before Caleb Azubike strips him of the football at the 2-yard line. Oren Burks recovers to mark Commodores' first turnover of the day.
Offense fails to convert a 4th-and-1 as Jimmy Stewart stops Jerron Seymour in the backfield for a loss.
Drive stalls at midfield following two straight incompletions by Patton Robinette.
END OF FIRST HALF (Black: 15, Gold: 10)
David Holtgrave converts 39-yard field goal. Drive highlighted by 15-yard reception by Jordan Cunningham and pass interference by Tre Bell.
Patton Robinette caps of 65-yard touchdown drive with a one-yard quarterback keeper. Robinette rushed three times on a drive that was extended by two offsides penalties and a pass interference call.
After picking up a first down, defense stymies offense and forces punt.
Final offensive series highlighted by a pair of 11-yard runs by Ralph Webb and Johnny McCrary before time expires.
END OF SECOND HALF (Gold: 21, Black: 16)