Game 12 of 12 – Vanderbilt vs Presbyterian

With the countdown to kickoff getting ever closer it is time to take an early look at each game on the Vanderbilt schedule in 2012. Instead of taking the game chronologically (no one has any creativity any more) we are going to look at the games in order of their prominence. It is time for the 12th most prominent game on the Vandy schedule, the 3rd clash of the season against Presbyterian.

Prominence Level

As you may guess by the placement on our list this game is pretty low on the prominence meter. Sure, every game matters and all that, but the game against the Blue Hose (a Scottish Warrior, think Braveheart) will certainly not be the most anticipated game on the schedule. Sandwiched weirdly between the Northwestern and Georgia contests, this is hopefully the kind of game that Vanderbilt moves past over the next couple of years. Vandy's Keys to Winning

The major problem for the 4-7 Blue Hose squad from 2011 is that they lost by far their best defensive player to the NFL, cornerback Justin Bethel. Last year against Cal Bethel scored all Presbyterian's points on a blocked punt return (he blocked and returned the kick) and an interception return. Without him in the defensive backfield Vandy should have no issues airing out the ball and mixing both short and deep routes against an overmatched PC defense. Bethel was a once in a generation player for the Blue Hose (the last draft pick for the school was in 1969) and an early season game will allow the Commodores to take full advantage of his loss.

In short, this will be a great opportunity to work any kinks out of the Vanderbilt attack and set up the Commodores for the more taxing opponents later in the season.

How Vandy Could Lose

It's really not going to happen. After two big games (for different reasons) against South Carolina and Northwestern to start the year the Commodores could be ready for a letdown. One of the hallmarks of the young James Franklin era, though, is his strong motivational skills and ability to get his players ready to play. In a different era this could have been a trap game, in 2012 Vandy are primed to win games like this running away.

The only way the Commodores could be caused problems is by the size of the Blue Hose out wide. Though Presbyterian lacks girth in the trenches, its wide receiver corps is of FBS standard purely in terms of height. It will be important for the Vanderbilt defensive line to dominate and put plenty of pressure on whichever quarterback PC rolls out on the day.

What Will Happen

Blowout City. Presbyterian really isn't that good, and Vandy is looking to put together back-to-back bowl bids. In order for that to happen the Commodores need to use games like this to increase confidence and get the fringe players some game time. It would be a shock if this one ended in anything other than a huge Vandy victory. Top Stories