Best Vanderbilt Offensive Player
QB Kyle Shurmur, Sr.
Finally, he was able to unleash the passing game, and the results were excellent at times, throwing for a school-record 26 touchdowns with 2,823 yards and ten picks. He ran for three scores, too.
He needs to be more accurate – only hitting 58% of his throws – but the 6-4, 227-pounder has three years of experience, has enough of an arm to push it deep at times, and has the command of the attack to make the young receiving corps shine. The offense will be put in his hands more than ever.
2. WR Kalija Lipscomb, Jr.
3. TE Jared Pinkney, Jr.
4. RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Jr.
5. C Bruno Reagan, Sr.
Best Vanderbilt Defensive Player
S LaDarius Wiley, Sr.
Charles Wright might be the most important Commodore thanks to his ability to get behind the line, but it’s Wiley who’s going to be the strongest all-around playmaker.
Second on the team in tackles, the 6-1, 210-pounder came up with 88 stops with a pick and five broken up passes from his safety spot. With the new attitude with the new defensive coordinator, Wiley will play an even bigger role.
2. LB Charles Wright, Sr.
3. LB Jordan Griffin, Sr.
4. CB Joejuan Williams, Jr.
5. DE Dayon Odeyingbo, Soph.
Key Player To A Successful Season
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Jr.
Ralph Webb finished among the top ten all-time leading SEC rushers, carrying the Vanderbilt offense for 4,178 yards and 32 touchdowns over his terrific career. There wasn’t anything flashy about his game, but he was consistently productive.
Vaughn ran for 723 yards and six scores in his freshman season at Illinois, and ran for just 301 yards and three touchdowns last year. Now it’s up to the 5-10, 215-pounder to take over for Webb and give the Commodores even more of a ground game. He’s a grinder who can potentially control games – at least that’s the hope.
Key Game To The Vanderbilt Season
South Carolina, Sept. 22
Last year’s SEC opener? Alabama 59, Vanderbilt 0. This has to be much, much better, with a trip to Georgia and then Florida, and then three straight road games in conference play.
It’s been a rough run for the Commodores against the Gamecocks, losing nine straight in the series going back to the 24-17 win to open up the 2008 SEC season. This USC team is good enough to be a factor in the East race, and coming off a game at Notre Dame, this could be a must-win for Vandy to get a little bit of positive early momentum.
2017 Vanderbilt Fun Stats
– Vandy was outscored in each of the first three quarters, and outscored opponents 66-64 in the fourth.
– Field Goals: Opponents 13-of-15 – Vanderbilt 3-of-7
– Fumbles: Vanderbilt 16 (lost 4) – Opponents 12 (lost 2)