Head-to-head: Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee

Next up for Vanderbilt is a visit to Knoxville to face the rival Tennessee. VandyMania.com compares different critical team areas of Vanderbilt and Tennessee and indicates which team has the edge. We also predict the final score.

Vanderbilt
EDGE
AREA
Tennessee
EDGE
COMMENTS
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Tennessee rushing defense
 
This matchup pits the No. 59 (162 ypg.) Vanderbilt rushing offense against the No. 68 (166 ypg.) Tennessee rushing defense. In their last three games against SEC opponents Vandy has averaged 207 yards per game. Zac Stacy has rushed for 891 yards this season for the 'Dores. Commodore quarterback Jordan Rodgers has also ran for 305 yards this season. Last week the Arkansas rushing attack racked up 254 yards against the Volunteer defense who have allowed 194 yards a game in their last three outings. Tennessee true freshmen A.J. Johnson leads the team in tackles with 67. He also has 3 1/2 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Vanderbilt expects to have offensive guard Ryan Seymour, who sat out UK, back for the Tennessee game.
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Tennessee passing defense
Vanderbilt ranks No. 100 (172 ypg.) in passing offense while Tennessee is No. 23 (192 ypg.) in passing defense. Since the emergence of Jordan Rodgers at the helm, the Vanderbilt offense has continued improving over the past five weeks. Over the past three games Rodgers is 46 of 77 for 744 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Sophomore Commodore receiver Jordan Matthews has also been on a terror as of late. In the last three games Matthews has 21 catches for 452 yards and three TD's. Vanderbilt's offensive line is 88th nationally in sacks allowed (2.4 pg.) after ranking 109th in week 3. Tennessee ranks 92nd nationally in sacks made (1.4 pg.). Senior linebacker Austin Johnson leads the Volunteers in interceptions with three.
Tennessee rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
 
The No. 116 (91 ypg.) Tennessee rushing attack will face the No. 32 (122 ypg.) Vanderbilt rushing defense. The Commodores have consistently held rushers under their averages all year. Isaiah Crowell of Georgia was held to 35 yards and the 'Dores held the nation's top rushing attack in Army to its lowest output of the season. Vandy was burned by the speed of Florida's Jeff Demps two weeks ago. Demps ran wild for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee has averaged 88 yards per game in its last three SEC contests. Two weeks after rushing for just 35 yards against South Carolina, the Vols rushed for 138 against Arkansas. Senior Tauren Poole is the Volunteers top rusher with 554 yards and 4 touchdowns (3.5 ypc.). Freshmen Marlin Lane is the Volunteers second leading rusher averaging 25 yards per game. Chris Marve at middle linebacker leads the Commodores in tackles with 71 including 6 for losses. Kenny Ladler and Sean Richardson each have 46 tackles for the Commodores.
EVEN
Tennessee passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
EVEN
The Volunteer's passing offense ranks No. 41 (250 ypg.) nationally while the Commodore pass defense stands at No. 39th (204 ypg.) nationally. After racking up 14 interceptions in their first four games the 'Dores have picked off just one in just the past five games. Casey Hayward is No. 8 nationally with five interceptions. Tennessee's top passer Tyler Bray has been cleared to play and listed as questionable for this week's game. Bray suffered from a broken thumb on his throwing hand against Georgia. Bray has thrown for 1579 yards and 15 TD's. In Bray's absence Justin Worley has gotten the majority of the snaps throwing for 15 of 29 for 208 yards and an interception against Arkansas, and 22 of 32 for 291 and a TD against Middle Tennessee. Sophomore receiver Da' Rick Rogers has 886 yards for 7 TD's, averaging (88 ypg.). Tennessee is 37th (1.5 pg) in sacks allowed while Vanderbilt is 38th (2.20 pg.) in sacks made. This area is even due to the Tennessee's unknown starter and quarterback.
EVEN
Special Teams
EVEN
Vanderbilt's Carey Spear is 4 of 7 on field goal attempts with a long of 37. Ryan Fowler is 1 of 2 with a long of 32 against Kentucky where he got the starting nod. Vandy has missed some big kicks that potentially cost games.

Michael Palardy is 9 for 13 on field goals for the Vols with a long of 52 yards. Vanderbilt's Richard Kent averages 42.6 yards a punt with a long of 67. Tennessee's Matt Darr averages 38.2 with a long of 53. The Vols' Devrin Young averages 13.1 yards per punt return and 24.3 per kickoff return with a long of 60 yards. Two weeks ago against MTSU the Vols were forced to call third string kicker walk-on Derrick Brodus because of a pre-game injury. Vanderbilt coverage units are allowing 4.58 and 18.33 yards for punts and kickoffs while the Vols are allowing 12.18 and 18.06 yards.
Coaching
 
The Commodores' James Franklin is 5-5 in his first season at Vanderbilt has been creative and resourceful with virtually the same roster that won four games in the last two years combined. Derek Dooley is 4-6 in his second season at the helm of UT. Dooley is facing a potential elimination from bowl possibility this week at Neyland.
Intangibles
 
The Vols are coming off a tough 49-7 loss against Arkansas. Tennessee was carved up on the ground and through the air against the Razorbacks for a total of 499 yards. Tennessee will be fighting with their backs to the wall as a loss will kill bowl hopes. Vandy has yet to win a road game this season but fell to Florida by five two weeks ago.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 27, Tennessee 17

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