This is my third column as Vandy sports columnist for The Nashville Newzine
Fixing a flaccid offense
by Robert Funke
My dear dog, the late Elmo, would excitedly mount other dogs, only to be reminded of his pathetic lack of testacles. He would then, without fail, let out a big sigh, watch me sing the alma mater, and stagger dejectedly away, confused about the source of his impotence. “It’s not your fault, buddy,” I wanted to say.
So who neutered the Vanderbilt offense? The answer, I’m afraid, is the same it has been for the last three years: offensive coordinator Ted Cain.
Since I got the job as the Vandy sports columnist at the Nashville Newzine, I’ve occasionally wondered how many columns it would be before I got a rant out towards Cain.
That number is two (2).
Let me preface this by saying that, to me, “Ted Cain” is a symbol, not a man. He is a symbol of “Vanderbilt’s offensive impotence.” Therefore, when I say, “I hate Ted Cain,” I mean “I hate Vanderbilt’s offensive impotence.” I have never met Ted Cain, and if I did, I would likely find him frustratingly pleasant and good-natured.
But since the end of the Jay Cutler era, I’ve found myself more and more obsessively fixated on the idea that this man, this Ted Cain, remains in the employ of Vanderbilt University. We have the worst offense in the SEC, and one of the worst in the country.
I say this now, of course, because of our performance against the mighty Bulldogs of Mississippi State. They came in unheralded. They pooped on our field. They rang their stupid cowbells. They gave their coach a Gatorade (excuse me, “G”) bath, and then they left.
Before I lose it completely, let me say that our defense played admirably yet again, despite being on the field twice as much as the offense. I like our defense against almost anyone in the conference. They play heroically. Now to the game notes:
At the beginning of the third quarter, it was quite feasible that we could double our total offensive production in a single play. We had thirty-three (33) yards on twenty-nine (29) rushing attempts. I don’t put the numbers in parentheses because of grammar or protocol. I do it so that you see those numbers twice. We had more punts than first downs. I realized, at one point, that it seemed more likely for us to catch a pass on defense than on offense. Our only score was set up not by a drive, but by a fumble on the Mississippi State five-yard line (spoiler: it wasn’t a touchdown). Note to defense: just pick up the ball and run it in next time.
Prior to the opening game, the media seemed to believe that a no-huddle offense would somehow fix our offensive woes. Not true, friends. The no-huddle offense does little more than allow us a dozen punts per game. Our typical series gambit last year was “Draw, Draw, Pass, Punt” whereas this year’s is, “drawdrawpasspunt!”
After the game, the once-proud ‘Dores walked to the student section with the gait of poor Elmo, saddened that someone had removed their virility. It begs the question, “How bad must Vanderbilt’s offense be before someone is held accountable?”
Listen, Bobby. He may be a nice guy. Judging by the way we run up the score on cupcake teams, he could be a fantastic D-II offensive coordinator. But the man does not get results. People who don’t know football think this is your fault, but I know it isn’t. I’ve said it for three years now.
Fire Ted Cain.