Unveiling the Best of 2011

Dec. 12, 2011

From big plays and crushing hits to unforgettable sound bites and everything in between, Vanderbilt's football season was filled with tears and cheers that kept fans on the edge throughout the regular season. There were a plethora of memorable moments from this past fall, and throughout this week VUCommodores will reflect back on the season with a Best of 2011.

Each day a new category will be available to vote on by fans. The polls will be open throughout the week and the final votes will be tabulated and announced on Monday, Dec. 19.

Here are the categories for the week.

Monday: Best Play
Tuesday: Best Uniform Combination
Wednesday: Best Hit
Thursday: Best Non-Football Video
Friday: Best Franklin Sound Bite

Top Plays
Stacy's Pile-Pushing Run Against Kentucky
Zac Stacy carries the pile of Kentucky defenders with him into the end zone in Vanderbilt's 38-8 win over the Wildcats on Nov. 12. Stacy's touchdown run was 18 yards, and he carried multiple defenders for nearly half the run. Watch Video

Rodgers Laterals To Smith Who Throws a Touchdown to Matthews Against Wake Forest
In the third quarter against Wake Forest, backup quarterback Larry Smith was inserted into the game and lined up at wide receiver. Wake Forest didn't realize Smith was in the game, and by the time they did, it was too late. Jordan Rodgers took the snap and threw a lateral pass to Smith who fired it 45 yards down the field to Jordan Matthews for a touchdown. Watch Video

Hayward's Interception Return for TD Turns the UConn Game
The Commodores appeared to be destined for their first loss of the season. UConn was leading by a touchdown and mounting a drive with just under seven minutes to play. That was until Casey Hayward stepped in front of a Johnny McEntee pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 21. Vanderbilt would add a field goal to win the game, 24-21. Watch Video

Barden Hurdles a Wake Forest Defender on 73-Yard TD Catch
The longest play of the year came from Brandon Barden against Wake Forest. Barden caught a pass in the flat, hurdles one defender, outraced another to the edge and stiff-armed a third on his way into the end zone. Watch Video

Vanderbilt Executes Fake Punt Against Georgia
Vanderbilt was known for its array of trick plays that were run throughout the season. Earlier this year, Vanderbilt fans voted the fake punt against Georgia as the team's favorite trick play of the year. Down 10-0 with in the second quarter, Vanderbilt faced a 4th and 13 from its own 22-yard line. Instead of punting, Vanderbilt executed a perfect fake. Placekicker Ryan Fowler received the snap and passed it downfield to snapper Andrew East who was running free toward the sideline. The play went for 35 yards and eventually led to a touchdown. Watch Video

Barnes' 100-Yard Interception Return Against Tennessee
With Tennessee on the verge of adding to its seven-point advantage, Vanderbilt linebacker Archibald Barnes intercepted a pass from Tyler Bray in the end zone and returned it 100 yards to tie the game at 14 in the third quarter. The interception return was the longest in school history. Watch Video



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