Vanderbilt Football Three Keys: UNLV


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

By Steve Wright

The Vanderbilt Commodores step out of SEC play this Saturday to play UNLV in non-conference action. The Running Rebels have not won since the start of the year when they beat Southern Utah, with a couple of heavy losses along the way. Vanderbilt needs a winning performance after the disappointing 31-6 loss to Ole Miss last time out.

Key 1 – Stop the quarterback run

Running quarterbacks seem to have been an issue for Vanderbilt for as long as the zone-read has been a thing. The Commodores had no answer for Ole Miss signal-caller John Rhys Plumlee last time out, with the true freshman rushing for 165 yards on 22 carries. He added a 33-yard score for good measure. The good news for Vandy is that UNLV’s best running quarterback Armani Rogers is struggling with a knee injury. If he doesn’t play, which seems likely at this point, then the much less athletically gifted Kenyon Oblad will get the starting nod. Either way, if the Running Rebels quarterback runs like Plumlee did last week, the game will be hard to win.

Key 2 – Stop Charles Williams

UNLV doesn’t score a lot of points. The Rebels average just 15.2 points per game in each of their losses, while their overall ppg total is boosted massively by the 56 points they scored in their lone win. Their biggest playmaker is running back Charles Williams. Williams has rushed for 529 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Of more concern is that he has done that at a rate of 8 yards per carry. That is a scary number for a defense that was gashed on the ground last week.

Key 3 – Be balanced on offense

The Rebels defense is more of a thought than an actual thing. They have been run on to the tune of 218.4 yards per game and passed on at a rate of 238.6 yards per game. They have given up 12 scores through the running game and 10 through opponents passing attacks. This is a team that Vanderbilt can score on and the best way is to stay balanced. The offensive line needs to do a better job of keeping the QB clean and opening up holes for Ke’Shawn Vaughn to burn through.

Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.

This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis

GameFirst Looks3 Keys
HighlightsFinal Stats
South Carolina vs. GeorgiaUSC / UGAUSC / UGAPreviewUSC 20, UGA 17Stats
Arkansas vs. KentuckyArky / KentuckyArky / KentuckyPreviewUK 24, Arky 17Stats
Florida vs. LSUFlorida / LSULSU / FloridaPreviewLSU 42, Florida 28Stats
Ole Miss vs. MissouriOle Miss / MizzouOle Miss / MizzouPreviewMizzou 38, Ole Miss 27Stats
Mississippi State vs. TennesseeTennessee / MSUMSU / TennesseePreviewTennessee 20, MSU 10Stats
Alabama vs. Texas A&MBama / A&MA&M / BamaPreviewBama 47, A&M 28Stats
UNLV vs. VanderbiltUNLVVandyPreviewUNLV 34, Vandy 10Stats
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