Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 11/21/11
Several times this year, coach James Franklin has pointed out it's a new Vanderbilt. But the old one seems to crop up at the most inopportune times. Like Saturday night for instance. In a game where the Commodores had one glorious scoring chance after another, they found a way not to get the job done, losing, 27-21, in overtime at Tennessee on a controversial 90-yard interception return by Eric Gordon. That replay was incorrectly used to reverse a ruling that Gordon's knee was down, as head linesman Gus Morris blew his whistle right after the interception and by rule, replay shouldn't have been used, doesn't really excuse all the mistakes the Commodores made. "We started out slow," quarterback Jordan Rodgers said. "Penalties killed us, (so did) turnovers. My play was unacceptable. I can't turn the ball over like that and give us a chance to win." Rodgers threw three interceptions, including one in the last 30 seconds that kept Vandy from getting in position for a potential game-winning field goal attempt. Not that coach James Franklin could have trusted anyone to make a field goal. As the Commodores fell behind, 14-7, at halftime, Ryan Fowler missed from 44 and 34 yards, earning a benching for the second half in place of Carey Spear. There were also seven penalties, including a needless clip on Josh Jelesky which wiped out a 68-yard pass from Rodgers to Chris Boyd that would have put the Commodores at the Volunteers' 1-yard line in the third quarter. The most damaging flag, however, was a running-into-the-kicker infraction against Sean Richardson which negated a blocked field goal with 6:32 left in the game. Given a second chance on fourth down from the 2-yard-line, Tennessee went for it and scored a tying touchdown. "You can't turn the ball over, you can't make critical mistakes," Franklin said. "You have to be a disciplined football team consistently. Another tough luck loss for us. We didn't play very well and that's my responsibility."
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