April 5, 2014
On campus in Nashville - Vanderbilt capped its fourth week of Spring Ball Saturday with the squad's second scrimmage inside Vanderbilt Stadium.
The next time Coach Derek Mason's squad enters the venue, they'll do so for the concluding Black and Gold Spring Game, scheduled next Saturday, April 12 at 10 a.m.
Mason put the Commodores through a 58-play scrimmage that included impressive individual plays on both sides of the ball. As with most spring sessions, the workout also left plenty of teaching points for the offensive and defensive staffs.
The offense tallied three touchdowns on 14 possessions, but produced just one score on four red-zone drives. The defense applied contact pressure on quarterbacks Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary and forced one turnover, but allowed two deep completions for touchdowns.
The offensive scores were registered by junior running back Brian Kimbrow and sophomore wide receivers Jordan Cunningham and Latevius Rayford. Redshirt freshman safety Ryan White produced the only turnover, diving to intercept a pass in the end zone. Sophomore defensive lineman Adam Butler and redshirt freshmen outside linebackers Landon Stokes and Jonathan Wynn each contributed multiple tackles for loss.
A brief, drive-by-drive summary of the session follows:
Series I The defense opens impressively, limiting their offensive counterparts to a quick 3-and-out possession.
Series II Redshirt sophomore quarterback Patton Robinette marches the offense on a 9-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by Kimbrow's 1-yard carry. Kimbrow also has three other carries for 27 yards while junior Jerron Seymour adds an impressive 7-yard rush inside the defense's 10-yard line. Robinette is 3-of-3 on the drive, connecting on throws of 16 and 8 yards to Cunningham and 15 yards to junior tight end Steven Scheu.
Series III Redshirt freshman nickelback narrowly missing an interception on third down to force a punting situation. The offense is put into a 3rd-and-long situation when junior linebacker Jake Sealand pressures McCrary into throwing an imcompletion on second down.
Series IV After redshirt freshman Ralph Webb rushes for an initial first down, the defense tightens and forcing a punting situation. Wynn's first sack of the day comes on third down. The play before, sophomore defensive back Paris Head nearly picks off a pass intended for redshirt freshman C.J. Duncan.
Series V The possession starts with a Stokes' sack and includes an impressive 18-yard carry by Kimbrow, but ends in a punting situation after a pair of Robinette incompletions.
Series VI On consecutive plays, linebackers Sealand and redshirt freshman Nigel Bowden provide punishing stops for no gain on redshirt freshman running back Ralph Webb. On 3rd-and-long, Robinette throws incomplete under heavy pressure from Stokes.
Series VII McCrary hits senior receiver Trey Wilkins for a 16-yard completion, but the possession stalls with an incompletion on 3rd-and-3.
Series VIII Starting in the red-zone, the offense is forced into a field goal when Kimbrow gains 2 yards on 3rd-and-4.
Series IX Started at the 25-yard line, the offense strikes quickly for a score, with Rayford making an acrobatic catch of a McCrary pass thrown to the corner of the end zone.
Series X Another drive starting at the 25-yard line doesn't go the offense's way. After a first down pass to Wilkins, the defense stiffens, with Butler contributing an impressive 2-yard tackle for loss of Webb. On third down, White comes up with the turnover, diving in front of an intended receiver to make the end-zone interception.
Series XI Once again, Wynn's pressure on forces a quick punting situation. The redshirt freshman outside linebacker sacks McCrary on 3rd-and-3.
Series XII On second down, McCrary throws deep to Cunningham, who is on the receiving end of a 59-yard touchdown strike.
Series XIII Junior outside linebacker Caleb Azubike ends an offensive possession by snuffing out a screen pass from McCrary to Webb for short yardage on 3rd-and-long.
Series XIV Stokes makes another big play for the defense, hitting Webb hard for no gain on second down. On 3rd-and-10, Robinette's completition to Webb comes up four yards short of a first down.
Several SEC officiating crews gather for scrimmage
The officiating crew for Saturday's scrimmage nearly outnumbers the Commodore roster.
Nearly 70 SEC officials and key administrators from the league office conducted a spring officiating workshop Friday and Saturday on the Vanderbilt campus. As part of the activity, the workshop participants alternated on the officiating crew through the scrimmage.
SEC Coordinator of Officials Steve Shaw, selected in December to add oversight of the the Sun Belt Conference football officiating program to his duties, presided over the two-day activity.