The Vanderbilt Commodores have found the win column again.
After a wretched five-game losing streak, the ‘Dores stopped the bleeding with a 31-17 win over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The victory props them up to 4-5 with bowl eligibility hinging on what they do in the next three weeks. If they can scrape together two wins going forward, they will be going bowling for the second year in a row and sixth time since the 2008 season.
WKU’s loss drops them to 5-4 overall in 2017.
What We Learned
Kyle Shurmur can be effective when needed
Vandy’s quarterback converted on two-thirds of his 21 pass attempts on Saturday afternoon in Nashville. Kyle Shurmur also tossed two touchdowns, no interceptions and amassed 220 yards through the air. Against a WKU defense that he should have had a performance like this against, Shurmur did what was asked of him and what was needed for the ‘Dores to get the win. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
Ralph Webb looked like Ralph Webb
Commodores running back Ralph Webb has been getting in a groove lately, and Saturday’s performance continued that. After not rushing for 100 yards all season, he’s now done so in two of his last three games. His 104 yards were a game high on Saturday, and he did so on 23 carries and was able to find the end zone once. In his last three games, Webb has rushed for 298 yards on 52 carries with three touchdowns. Not too shabby at all.
Vandy now is in position to make a bowl, but has no margin for error
The Commodores need two wins to assure themselves of bowl eligibility this season. To do so, they’ll have to take down two of either the Missouri Tigers, Kentucky Wildcats or Tennessee Volunteers. Mizzou has suddenly been rolling, so that game looks a bit tougher than it is. UK is 6-2, but they’ve certainly had their moments of weakness. And we all know how the Vols have looked this year. Vandy can go bowling. But they can’t afford more than one slip-up along the way.