2016 Vanderbilt Commodores football team

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2016 Vanderbilt Commodores football
Vanderbilt Commodores logo.svg
Conference Southeastern Conference
Division Eastern Division
2016 record 6–7 (3–5 SEC)
Head coach Derek Mason (3rd season)
Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig (2nd season)
Offensive scheme Pro-style
Defensive coordinator Derek Mason
Base defense 3–4
Home stadium Vanderbilt Stadium
Seasons
← 2015
2017 →
2016 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 14 Florida x   6 2         9 4  
No. 22 Tennessee   4 4         9 4  
Georgia   4 4         8 5  
Kentucky   4 4         7 6  
South Carolina   3 5         6 7  
Vanderbilt   3 5         6 7  
Missouri   2 6         4 8  
West Division
No. 2 Alabama x$^   8 0         14 1  
No. 24 Auburn   5 3         8 5  
No. 13 LSU   5 3         8 4  
Texas A&M   4 4         8 5  
Arkansas   3 5         7 6  
Mississippi State   3 5         6 7  
Ole Miss   2 6         5 7  
Championship: Alabama 54, Florida 16
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2016 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Commodores played their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee and competed in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They were led by third-year head coach Derek Mason. This was Vanderbilt's 126th season of college football. They finished the season 6–7, 3–5 in SEC play to finish in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Division. They were invited to the Independence Bowl where they lost to NC State.

Schedule[edit]

Vanderbilt announced its 2016 football schedule on October 29, 2015. The 2016 schedule consisted of six home and six away games in the regular season. The Commodores host SEC foes Florida, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and traveled to Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri.[1]

The Commodores hosted two of its four of its non–conference games, which were against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky (WKU) both from Conference USA, and Tennessee State from the Ohio Valley Conference.

Date Time Opponent Site TV Result Attendance
September 1 7:00 p.m. South Carolina Vanderbilt StadiumNashville, TN ESPN L 10–13   30,304
September 10 3:00 p.m. Middle Tennessee* Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, TN SECN+ W 47–24   29,627
September 17 11:30 a.m. at Georgia Tech* Bobby Dodd StadiumAtlanta, GA ACCN L 7–38   41,916
September 24 3:30 p.m. at Western Kentucky* Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith StadiumBowling Green, KY CBSSN W 31–30 OT  23,674
October 1 11:00 a.m. No. 23 Florida Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, TN SECN L 6–13   30,565
October 8 3:00 p.m. at Kentucky Commonwealth StadiumLexington, KY (Rivalry) SECN L 13–20   55,030
October 15 11:00 a.m. at Georgia Sanford StadiumAthens, GA (Rivalry) SECN W 17–16   92,746
October 22 6:30 p.m. No. 25 (FCS) Tennessee State †* Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, TN ESPNU W 35–17   31,084
November 5 11:00 a.m. at No. 11 Auburn Jordan–Hare StadiumAuburn, AL ESPN L 16–23   87,451
November 12 2:30 p.m. at Missouri Faurot FieldColumbia, MO SECN L 17–26   50,261
November 19 7:00 p.m. Ole Miss Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, TN (Rivalry) SECN W 38–17   27,763
November 26 6:30 p.m. No. 24 Tennessee Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, TN (Rivalry) SECN W 45–34   38,108
December 26 4:00 p.m. vs. NC State* Independence StadiumShreveport, Louisiana (Independence Bowl) ESPN2 L 17–41   28,995
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time.
Schedule Source:[2][3]

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Position
Derek Mason Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
Andy Ludwig Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach
Jeff Genyk Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs Coach
C.J. Ah You Defensive Line Coach
Gerry Gdowski Quarterbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Cortez Hankton Wide Receivers Coach
Chris Marve Inside Linebackers Coach
Marc Mattioli Defensive Backs Coach
Osia Lewis Outside Linebackers Coach
Cameron Norcross Offensive Line Coach
James Dobson Head Strength Coach
Jason Grooms Asst. Athletics Director/Director of Football Operations
Tyler Barnes Director of Player Personnel
Tom Bossung Head Athletic Trainer
Rayna Stewart Director of High School Relations
Chris Singleton Equipment Manager
Matt Britain Assistant Director of Operations
Mike Kroeger Player Development & Operations Assistant
Tyler Clarke Assistant Director, Strength
Aaron Hill Assistant Strength Coach
Ben Schumacher Assistant Strength Coach
Cedric Calhoun Quality Control - Defense
Kevin Abrams Graduate Assistant - Offense
Tate Benton Graduate Assistant - Offense
Davis Dudchock Grad Assistant - Football Administration
Ryan Blakney Quality Control Offense
Rod Chance Quality Control Defense
Mike Morita Quality Control Offense

[4]

Coaching changes[edit]

On December 15, 2015, coach Mason announced that special teams coach Charles Bankins, OL Coach Keven Lightner will not be retained for 2016. Mason cited a difference in philosophy rather than poor performance for the coaching changes.

"I just see this football team moving in a different direction and I just wanted to make sure these men were treated the right way," Mason said. "I feel like it’s time for us to move forward." [5]

Recruiting[edit]

Game summaries[edit]

South Carolina[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
South Carolina 0 0 3 10 13
Vanderbilt 3 7 0 0 10
Overall record Last meeting Result
4–20 2015 South Carolina, 19–10

Middle Tennessee[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Middle Tennessee 10 7 7 0 24
Vanderbilt 5 28 0 14 47
Overall record Last meeting Result
13–3 2015 Vanderbilt, 17–13

Georgia Tech[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Vanderbilt 7 0 0 0 7
Georgia Tech 14 3 14 7 38
Overall record Last meeting Result
15–19–3 2009 Georgia Tech, 56–31

WKU[edit]

1 2 3 4OT Total
Vanderbilt 0 7 7 107 31
WKU 7 7 0 106 30
Overall record Last meeting Result
3–1 2015 WKU, 14–12

Florida[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#23 Florida 0 10 0 3 13
Vanderbilt 0 3 3 0 6
Overall record Last meeting Result
10–37–2 2015 Florida, 9–7

Kentucky[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Vanderbilt 3 0 7 3 13
Kentucky 7 10 0 3 20
Overall record Last meeting Result
42–42–4 2015 Vanderbilt, 21–17

Georgia[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Vanderbilt 7 0 3 7 17
Georgia 3 3 7 3 16
Overall record Last meeting Result
19–55–2 2015 Georgia, 31–14

Tennessee State[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#25 (FCS) Tennessee State 14 3 0 0 17
Vanderbilt 7 14 7 7 35
Overall record Last meeting Result
1–0 2006 Vanderbilt, 38–9

Auburn[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Vanderbilt 3 10 0 3 16
Auburn 7 3 10 3 23
Overall record Last meeting Result
21–20–1 2012 Vanderbilt, 17–13

Vanderbilt's November 5 meeting with Auburn at Jordan-Hare stadium was notable for eventual All-American LB Zach Cunningham's blocked FG in the fourth quarter. Auburn's Daniel Carlson lined up to kick a 35-yard field goal with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter to give the Tigers a 10-point lead. Cunningham, who after the game described watching special teams tape to learn the snap timing of the field goal team, leaped over Auburn's offensive line between the center and left guard to block Carlson's kick. Although Vanderbilt turned the ball over on the ensuing possession to seal Auburn's victory, the play became iconic for Cunningham during his redshirt junior season.

Missouri[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Vanderbilt 0 10 7 0 17
Missouri 6 13 0 7 26
Overall record Last meeting Result
3–4–1 2015 Vanderbilt, 10–3

Ole Miss[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Ole Miss 10 0 0 7 17
Vanderbilt 7 7 17 7 38
Overall record Last meeting Result
38–50–2 2015 Ole Miss, 27–16

Tennessee[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Tennessee 14 17 3 0 34
Vanderbilt 7 17 7 14 45
Overall record Last meeting Result
30–75–5 2015 Tennessee, 53–28

Vanderbilt's 45-34 win over the Tennessee Volunteers represented the Commodores' 6th win on the season, guaranteeing Vanderbilt's eligibility for Bowl play for the first time since 2013, and the first time during Mason's tenure as Vanderbilt's Head Coach. Prior to this game, which was played at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 26, Vanderbilt's high Academic Performance Index (API) introduced the possibility of bowl play even with a 5-7 season end record, as the 5-7 teams with the best API are rewarded with bowl appearances.

However, Vanderbilt avoided dependence upon the API and defeated state rival Tennessee, also for the first time since 2013. Kyle Shurmur led Vanderbilt in a breakout performance with 412 passing yards, and Ralph Webb eclipsed Zac Stacy's school record for career rushing yards. Vanderbilt outscored Tennessee 21-3 in the second half and iced the victory with a touchdown rush from Webb late in the fourth quarter.

NC State–Independence Bowl[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
NC State 0 14 14 13 41
Vanderbilt 3 0 7 7 17
Overall record Last meeting Result
2–0 2012 Vanderbilt, 38–24

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2016 Commodore football schedule announced" (Press release). Vanderbilt University Department of Athletics. October 29, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ "2016 Vanderbilt Commodores Football Schedule". FB Schedules. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ "2016 Schedule". Archived from the original on 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  4. ^ http://www.vucommodores.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/vand-m-footbl-mtt.html
  5. ^ http://www.anchorofgold.com/2015/12/15/10233686/2015-ncaa-football-vanderbilt-assistant-coaches-bankins-lightner-fired