Vanderbilt Three Keys: Northern Illinois


Vanderbilt faces Northern Illinois on Saturday in Nashville. Here are your three keys to a Vanderbilt win over Northern Illinois.

By Don Yates

Key 1 – Defense gets defensive

Three games into the season the Commodores have given up 138 points and 1,618 total offense to opponents. Granted, Vandy played two top 5 teams and a third team with an offensive guru for a head coach and on the road. There’s still no excuse for giving up an average of 405 yards and 46 points a game, especially when a team is coached by someone whose expertise is in defense. The Commodores have to play good defense and show that the garbage we saw in the first three games is history.

Key 2 – Vaughn runs wild

This key isn’t all on Vaughn’s shoulder’s, it’s on all the blockers as well and not just the offensive line. Vandy missed the boat against Purdue when Vaughn finished with just 56 yards rushing. Vaughn actually did pretty good against a very strong Georgia defense picking up 74 hard-earned yards. Vaughn was a beast against LSU. Vandy just needs for Vaughn to produce a little more and, again, he can’t do it by himself. One thing that could help him is if Devin Cochran can play on Saturday.

Key 3 – No blocked kicks

Northern Illinois was blown out by Nebraska 44-8. Playing in Lincoln, NE can be tough. However, one thing that the Huskies did well in that game was block kicks. Northern Illinois blocked an impressive 3 kicks in that loss. The player responsible for 2 of those 3 blocks was cornerback Jalen McKie. The Commodores aren’t good enough yet to give up multiple blocked kicks and still win.

Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.

This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis

GameFirst Looks3 Keys
HighlightsFinal Stats
Ole Miss vs. AlabamaBama / Ole MissPreviewBama 59, Ole Miss 31Stats
Texas A&M vs. ArkansasArkansas / A&MArky / A&MPreviewA&M 31, Arky 27Stats
Mississippi State vs. AuburnAuburn / MSUMSUPreviewAuburn 56, MSU 23Stats
Towson vs. FloridaTowsonFloridaPreviewFlorida 38, Towson 0Stats
Kentucky vs. South CarolinaUSC / UKUSCPreviewUSC 24, UK 7Stats
N Illinois vs. VanderbiltUNIVandyPreviewVandy 24, NIU 18Stats
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