Season Report Card: Vanderbilt Commodores
Vandy had back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time in school history. It beat SEC East rivals Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee for the first time ever. And, of course, it made it to a third straight bowl game which had never been done before.
All in all, it was quite the successful season for the Commodores.
So instead of focusing on the already event off-season for this team, let's look back at the 2013 campaign:
The Commodores were innovative in their approach on offense, and had the quarterback play of Austyn Carta-Samuels and Patton Robinette been a little more consistent, this offense would have been even more dangerous. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews made himself a legitimate first round pick in the NFL draft with a monster season.
Aside from a few tough outings against spread teams like Missouri and Texas A&M, Vandy was solid on defense. It finished in the top 25 in the country in total defense, with the secondary doing an excellent job against the passing game.
Special Teams: B
Senior place kicker Carey Spear made big kicks when the Commodores needed him to, and the return game was pretty good overall as well.
Probably not something Vandy fans want to see now that James Franklin has taken his talents to Penn State, but he and his staff did an awesome job with this team this season. Player motivation was never an issue with Franklin at the helm, and besides the aforementioned blowouts against Missouri and A&M, the Commodores had a chance to win in every other game they played.
This season will be remembered as Franklin's swan song after leading Vandy to unprecedented success during his tenure in Nashville. It was a couple of plays away from winning 10 or 11 games, and that's rather astonishing when you consider the history of Vandy football. But now it will be up to the new coach (which appears to be Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason) to continue the momentum that was built during the Franklin era.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Vandy football? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!