VIRTUAL PLAYBOOK: Commodores vs. Gators

This Saturday the Vanderbilt Commodores take on the Flordia Gators in The Swamp. Take a look in our exclusive and unique "Virtual Playbook" and see how Vandy plans on attacking the Gator defenses and offenses from a visual perspective.

Vanderbilt Offense

The Passing Game

In recent years Vandy relied on an option attack and threw a little using the quarterback's mobility. Jay Cutler is a very moble quarterback and could still run the attack, but his passing ability has forced the coaches to go to a more conventional pro-style passing attack. However, if the Gators are able to get a serious rush on the Commodores, look for Cutler to roll out of the pocket.

Here we see a play action bootleg pass. If the Gators are applying the heavy pressure as I expect, we'll see the play action of faking the ball to the running back and then getting outside the pocket to throw the ball. Notice all three receivers rolling to the same side allowing Cutler three targets.

Possibilities for the Commodores with the Gators' new-found pass rush are quick passes. Slants like the second and fourth receiver above are good quick pass routes and either a quick crosser by the slot / tight end or he can stay and help protect the passer.

The Running Game

Vandy is a straight ahead running team and utilizes an H-back in various ways to attack the defense. Don't be surprised to see quarterback Jay Cutler take off on a quarterback draw every now and then.

Georgia used the quarterback runs very effectively against the Gators. What quarterback runs do is attack a team in man coverage, because the coverage doesn't specify covering the quarterback, but only his possible targets. Basically if the line is blocked and the receivers block their man, the quarterback should be unaccounted for.

The H-back is manned by Steven Bright. Look for a little "trickeration" when he is in the game as the former quarterback is athletic and utilized to really make defenses cover all of their bases. Don't be surprised to see a double pass like the one shown above with this personnel grouping.

Vanderbilt Defense

Vanderbilt plays a Cover 3 zone defense almost 50% of the time. They will blitz 1 or 2 linebackers from this defense but normally run a straight zone. They also like to disguise it in a split safety Cover 2 look. The red areas are the open areas in a Cover 3. The hashes should be left un-guarded when the safeties bail from the hashes to assume their zones in the coverage.

As stated they line up in a Cover 2 look before moving to a Cover 3. Here we have a straight Cover 2. The Corners won't drop as deep and the safetes protect the hashes and try to cover the deep sidelines. This leaves the middle of the field deep and the deep corners as areas of possible weakness.

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