Head-to-head: Vanderbilt vs. Arkansas

Vanderbilt faces another tough challenge on Saturday when the Commodores host Arkansas' high powered offensive attack. VandyMania.com compares Vanderbilt and Arkansas head-to-head in several key areas and predicts the final score.

Vanderbilt
EDGE
AREA
Arkansas
EDGE
COMMENTS
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Arkansas rushing defense
 
This matchup pits Vanderbilt's No. 57 (160 ypg.) rushing offense against the Razorbacks No. 88 (183 ypg.) rushing defense. Vanderbilt's Zac Stacy rushed for 198 yards last week against Army and a new factor in the Commodore rushing attack is the emergence of dual threat quarterback Jordan Rodgers. Rodgers has 191 total rushing yards this season but in significant action over the past two games has gained almost a combined 180 yards. Junior outside linebacker Alonzo Highsmith is the Razorbacks second leading tackler with 58. Highsmith leads the team in tackles for losses with nine and has two sacks. In Arkansas most recent game, against Ole Miss, the Razorbacks allowed 151 rushing yards for a touchdown. Earlier in the season the Hogs allowed 381 yards (5 TDs) rushing versus Texas A&M.  
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Arkansas passing defense
This matchup pits Vanderbilt's No. 111 (140 ypg.) passing attack against the Razorback's No. 36 passing defense (203 ypg.). Even with the improvement in the Commodore offense since the rise of Jordan Rodgers Vanderbilt is still struggling to complete passes. Against Army's struggling secondary last week Rodgers completed only 10 of 27 passes for a touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Jonathan Krause is the Commodore's top receiver with 21 catches for 149 yards. Chris Boyd has caught 14 passes four of which were touchdowns. Vanderbilt offensive line has shown significant improvement over the past few games. After being ranked near the bottom of the nation's 120 FBS teams the Commodores now stand at No. 88 in sacks allowed and allowed no sacks to Army. Senior safety Tramain Thomas leads the Razorbacks in interceptions with three. Arkansas ranks 101st nationally in sacks gained, averaging a little over one a game.  
 
Arkansas rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
 
This matchup pits the No. 73 Hog rushing attack (140 ypg.) against Vanderbilt's No. 45 rushing defense (132 ypg.) Senior running back Ronnie Wingo leads the Hogs in rushing with 290 total yards (4.7 ypc.). Wingo also has 15 receptions. Junior Dennis Johnson has 273 yards (6.5 ypc.) and may start. Last week at Ole Miss the Hogs gained 206 yards on the ground with Johnson gaining 160 of them in just 15 carries. Vanderbilt middle linebacker Chris Marve leads the Commodores in tackles with 57. Fellow linebacker Chase Garnham has 44. Defensive tackle Rob Lohr leads Vandy in tackles for losses with nine. Last week against Army the Commodore defense held the Black Knight's No. 1 ranked rushing attack to almost 100 yards under its average.
 
Arkansas passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
 
The Razorbacks boast the nation's No. 9 ranked passing attack piling up an average of 322 yards per game. Tyler Wilson has seemingly took over right where now graduated Ryan Mallett left off. Wilson has completed almost over 62 percent of his passes for 2,011 yards and 12 touchdowns. Senior receiver Jarius Wright, who has 34 catches for six touchdowns, is Wilson's top target. Another senior, Joe Adams, one of the top returnees from last season and has 31 catches for a touchdown. Arkansas, the top passing team in the SEC, allows about two sacks per game (No. 62 nationally). Vanderbilt is 55th in sacks gained, averaging about two per game. Lohr leads the team with four. Senior defensive end Tim Fugger has three sacks. Vanderbilt secondary started out strong in the interception department but has only one over the past three games. Commodore cornerback Casey Hayward has five on the season.
EVEN
Special Teams
EVEN  
Both Vanderbilt and Arkansas have solid but not perfect special teams. Vandy's Carey Spear is 4 of 6 for field goals with a long of 33. The Hogs Zach Hocker is 8 of 10 with a long of 36. Richard Kent averages 41 yards a punt for Vandy with a long of 67 yards. Ryan Fowler sometimes punts and has a 31 yard average. Vandy has had two punts blocked this season. Dylan Wade has a 44.7 punting average with a long of 59 yards. He has placed eight of his punts inside the 20. Andre Hal averages 25.4 yards per kickoff return with a long of 96 yards (TD). Dennis Johnson and Marquel Wade return kickoffs for the Razorbacks with Johnson averaging 21.3 yards with a long scoring return of 85 yards while Wade averages 29.1 yards per return. Vanderbilt's kickoff coverage team is allowing only 17.6 yards per return while the Hogs are giving up 21.9 yards a return. The Commodores punt coverage unit is allowing just 4.1 yards per return while the Arkansas unit is giving up 11.8 yards a return including one for an 85-yard touchdown.
EVEN
Coaching
EVEN
Bobby Petrino is in his eighth season as a head coach and fourth season at Arkansas. Petrino sports a 70-26 record. He also coached the Atlanta Falcons for one season. Vanderbilt's James Franklin has brought innovation and energy to the Commodore program. He is 4-3 in his first season as a head coach.
EVEN
Intangibles
EVEN  
Vanderbilt is 1-0 in games starting in the morning this season. The Hogs will likely travel well to for this game since Vanderbilt is one of few SEC schools within reasonable driving distance, especially for Hog fans in the Memphis area.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 31, Arkansas 28

See what Vanderbilt fans are saying about this upcoming game in the VandyMania.com football FORUM.

Commodores Daily Top Stories