September 23, 2017
Commodores drop 59-0 game to No. 1 Crimson Tide
By Zac Ellis
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — No. 1 Alabama’s visit to Nashville didn’t unfold in Vanderbilt’s favor.
The Crimson Tide used a fast start and lock-down defense to top Vanderbilt, 59-0, on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Here’s how it went down on West End:
WHAT HAPPENED: Following a punt on its first series, Alabama scored touchdowns on its next four series to built a 28-0 lead. With Vanderbilt struggling to move the ball, the Crimson Tide carried a 31-0 lead into the half and never looked back.
TURNING POINT: Alabama led 14-0 with less than four minutes left in the first quarter when Vanderbilt took over looking for energy on offense. Instead, Dores’ running back Khari Blasingame took a carry and coughed up a fumble that was recovered by the Tide at the Vanderbilt 23-yard line. Six plays later, Damien Harris ran in his second touchdown of the day to push Alabama ahead, 21-0.
Alabama RB Damien Harris
Harris quite literally carried the load for Alabama’s offense against the Commodores. The junior made the most of holes opened by the Crimson Tide’s stout offensive line and finished with 151 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries.
Alabama’s defensive front
The Tide’s front seven made life difficult for Vanderbilt’s offense all day long. They limited the Commodores to 40 yards on 16 attempts on the ground, including 20 yards on six carries for senior Ralph Webb. Meanwhile, Kyle Shurmur struggled to 4-15 for 18 yards and an interception, which bounced off the hands of tight end Jared Pinkney.
Vanderbilt S LaDarius Wiley
The redshirt junior WIley made the most of a tough day for the Vanderbilt defense. He finished as the team leader with a career-high 14 tackles, including eight unassisted stops.
GIVE ME THE NUMBERS:
Total yards gained by Vaderbilt’s offense. The Commodores managed just 79 yards in the first half while Alabama amassed 323 yards of its own in building a 31-0 lead at the break.
Number of Alabama first downs against Vanderbilt. The Crimson Tide were able to sustain drives and end them with touchdowns instead of field goals. The Commodores, meanwhile, finished with three first downs.
WORTH NOTING: The Commodores had scored first in every game this season prior to Saturday’s matchup. But Alabama ended that streak with a 47-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.
WHAT’S NEXT: Vanderbilt hits the road to face Florida next Saturday in Gainesville. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT.
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.