Missouri 41, Vanderbilt 0: Sarah Fuller makes history, but Commodores are blown out
A historic moment couldn’t save Vanderbilt from extending its longest SEC losing streak in 17 years.
The Commodores fell 41-0 to Missouri on Saturday in their worst performance of the season. They dropped to 0-8 with their 12th consecutive SEC loss under seventh-year coach Derek Mason, dating back to last year.
It is Vanderbilt’s longest SEC losing streak since dropping 23 straight from 2000 to 2003 under Woody Widenhofer and Bobby Johnson.
That dismal result was lightened for a moment when kicker Sarah Fuller, a goalkeeper on the soccer team, became the first woman to play in a Power Five college football game.
Fuller’s feat was celebrated widely from a national perspective. But the Commodores are still creeping toward the possibility of their first winless season in program history with two games remaining against No. 10 Georgia and Tennessee.
Here are five things we learned from Vanderbilt’s loss:
Sarah Fuller made college football history
Even in the loss, Fuller was the headliner. She squibbed the kickoff to start the second half to make her college football debut. On Sunday, she led the Vanderbilt soccer team to an SEC Tournament title and then joined the football team in an emergency situation, as COVID-19 contract tracing had taken multiple specialists out of the lineup.
Fuller became the third woman to play in an FBS game. But she was the first in a Power Five conference, including the SEC.
Vanderbilt offense stopped cold
Fuller didn't get a chance to score because Vanderbilt’s offense couldn’t post a touchdown for an extra-point attempt or get into field goal range. In the first half, only one of the Commodores’ six drives ended inside Missouri territory, and that was only the 46-yard line.
They didn't get much closer in the second half. Vanderbilt had a season-low 196 yards of total offense.
Freshman starting quarterback Ken Seals was ineffective, passing for 79 yards on 11-of-19. In the third quarter, he was temporarily replaced by freshman backup quarterback Mike Wright, who went 4-of-6 for 24 yards.
Commodores torched by another quarterback
Missouri freshman quarterback Connor Bazelak was 30-of-37 passing for 318 yards, and he left the game early in the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead. The Tigers finished with 380 passing yards and 603 yards of total offense.
It was another lackluster performance by Vanderbilt's pass defense, which allowed 449 yards to Ole Miss and 413 yards to Florida.
Keyon Henry-Brooks back, but non-factor in blowout
Running back Keyon Henry-Brooks returned from an injury that sidelined him the previous week for a loss to No. 5 Florida. And he was almost lost again when reaching for a pass and taking a helmet-to-helmet shot from Missouri safety Joshuah Bledsoe in the first quarter.
No penalty was called. Henry-Brooks lay on the turf for a while, but he returned on the next possession. But by then Vanderbilt trailed, and any hope of establishing the ground game was lost. Henry-Brooks finished with 64 rushing yards and 24 receiving yards.
Dayo Odeyingbo quietly climbs record book
Senior defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo made two sacks and an additional tackle-for-loss, moving him into fifth place on Vanderbilt's career list with 31 tackles-for-loss.
Odeyingbo's days are likely numbered with the Commodores. Since the NCAA will not count this season toward a player's eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he could return next season.
On Tuesday, Odeyingbo said he will make his decision after the season. But he already has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, indicating that he will likely enter the NFL Draft.
Reach Adam Sparks at email@example.com and on Twitter @AdamSparks.