Things are not going well in Nashville. The Commodores need to find a way to rebound after the shocking 34-10 upset at the hands of UNLV. That won’t be easy with 5-1 Missouri coming to town.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys:
Find some help for Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Ke’Shawn Vaughn has really been the only offensive spark on this team through six games, Vaughn has rushed for 607 yards, a total good for third in the entire SEC. Given some of the running games and running backs in the league this year, that is an impressive statistic.
The problem is that Vaughn has no help. Even with his rushing, the running game still sits at No. 104 in the nation in yards per game. That number actually gets worse when total offense is taken into account, with Vanderbilt No. 109 in the nation in total yards per game. Candy averages just 18.1 points per game, a total that won’t win you much in the FBS.
Find some defense
Just having help for Vaughn thought won’t be enough to win this game. The Commodores defense also has to step up and stop the rot. Vandy allows close to 500 yards per game on the season and they are currently not even being able to outpace bad offensive teams. UNLV, a team that Vandy should be better than, had 72 more yards of total offense last week in their win.
Allowing the 10th most points per game in the nation simply isn’t good enough.
Create extra possessions
Given that Mizzou will be better than Vandy in all three phases of the game, a win here will be tough. One of the best ways to come up with an upset win – perhaps the only way for Vanderbilt to do so – is by creating extra possessions through turnovers on defense and ball retention on offense.
Vaughn will get his yards – he is too good not to – so make those yards valuable by giving the offense some short fields to work with. Vandy has to find a way to make plays defensively that lead to the offense having a better opportunity to score.