Vanderbilt Game Balls: Top performers from 17-13 win over MTSU
When Vanderbilt needed Ralph Webb most in a 17-13 win over Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, he came through.
The Commodores’ senior running back helped Vandy overcome a 13-3 fourth-quarter deficit by racking up 65 total yards on the team’s final two drives.
That total included the game-winning 39-yard touchdown run that Webb sprung on 3rd-and-1.
“Once I broke through the second wave of the defense, all I saw was the end zone,” Webb told Tennessean.com‘s Adam Sparks. “I was trying to get there as fast as I could … The feeling was unreal.”
Webb’s touchdown came with 1:12 left on the clock, and MTSU’s offense could not move past midfield on the ensuing drive.
For his early efforts, we’re giving him the Vanderbilt Game Ball. Here are other worthy candidates:
Johnny McCrary (honorable mention, offense)
The ‘Dores quarterback struggled for most of the night, but he broke open a 29-yard touchdown run to bring Vandy within three points.
“It was a quick pass … but I read the wrong side,” McCrary told Tennessean.com‘s Adam Sparks. “When I looked back, I thought, ‘I got to do something. … I got to run.’”
The redshirt sophomore finished 18-of-31 for 177 yards and two interceptions. He also had 33 yards and the aforementioned score on the ground.
Zach Cunningham (honorable mention, defense)
Vanderbilt’s defense has been the team’s strong suit all season, and Saturday was no exception. Without an elite performance from the “D,” Vandy would not have sniffed victory in Murfreesboro.
Cunningham was the ringleader — he totaled a team-high 15 tackles (2.5 for loss) while forcing a fumble and breaking up two passes. The redshirt sophomore has been a strong presence all year after appearing in 11 games last season.
Tommy Openshaw (honorable mention, special teams)
The kicker/punter had somewhat of a rough night — missed field goal, 31.4 punt average — but he did enough to help the Commodores win.
Openshaw had to punt five times, and was able to pin MTSU inside it’s own 20 on two different occasions. Field position made all the difference in a defensive slugfest, and the redshirt sophomore also managed to hit a 40-yard field goal after an early miss.
— Chris Smith (@CSmithScout) October 4, 2015