Vandy's vulnerable

SEC statistics show Vanderbilt ranking ninth in scoring defense, eighth in pass defense, 10th in run defense and 10th in total defense. That doesn't mean Tennessee will run rough-shod over the Commodores today in Nashville, though.

You see, the Vols have some defensive deficiencies of their own. They rank eighth in scoring defense, just one point per game (21.2 to 22.3) ahead of the 'Dores. The Vols allow just 14 fewer passing yards per game, 7 fewer rushing yards per game and a mere 21 fewer total yards per game (325.0 to 345.7).

Let's take a look at common opponents:

Tennessee allowed 31 points against Arkansas; Vanderbilt allowed 21.

Tennessee allowed 33 points against Georgia; Vanderbilt allowed 22.

Tennessee allowed 13 points against Alabama; Vanderbilt also allowed 13.

Tennessee allowed 21 points against Florida; Vanderbilt allowed 25.

Tennessee allowed 24 points against South Carolina; Vanderbilt allowed 31.

Vandy actually limited the five common opponents to 10 fewer points than Tennessee did.

"Vanderbilt's got some really, really good players – some guys that are making a lot of plays for them," Vol offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe said. "They have a very extensive scheme. They do a lot of things well. They've held in check some good football teams."

The only real defensive meltdown for Bobby Johnson's Commodores came last weekend at Kentucky, when they allowed 597 yards of total offense and 38 points.

"They got shocked last week by big plays," Cutcliffe said. "Things kind of blew up on them, but that can happen to anybody."

John Chavis' UT defense learned that lesson last weekend, too.


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