Some Vandy Over/Unders for 2012 (defense)

The football season is still frustratingly far into the distance, but with trickles of information coming out it seems like a good time to look at some of the numbers the Commodores would like to hit to ensure a successful 2012 campaign. We have already looked at three of the baselines that the offense needs to hit this season, today it is time to see what the defense needs to do to at ..

.. least equal, and hopefully improve, on last year.

1) Chase Garnham has 90 tackles

Under. One of the biggest holes to fill on the 2012 Commodore defense is the middle linebacker spot vacated by Chris Marve. Marve was either the leading or second leading tackler in each of his four years on campus, and last year he had almost 30 more tackles than any other player with 91. The first crack at the MLB role will fall to Chase Garnham, a player who had 51 tackles in eight starts a year ago. Garnham has SEC level sideline-to-sideline speed and the hope is he will be able to use his excellent pursuit ability to track down ball carriers all over the field. He should get close to 90 tackles if the Commodores defense is playing well.

2) Someone has more than five interceptions

Under. Just as important as replacing Marve is the need for someone to step up and fill the void left by all SEC cornerback Casey Hayward's graduation. Hayward was by far the biggest game changer for the Commodores on defense last season, many coming at important times in big games. Trey Wilson had two interception returns for touchdowns in 2011 and he would be one of the candidates to get to the five pick mark. In the end though I think the unit may have as many interceptions as last season (19) but they will be more evenly distributed.

3) Rob Lohr has four sacks

Over. Vanderbilt seems to have lost its leading player in every defensive category from 2011 and the sack category is no exception. With defensive end Tim Fugger lost to graduation the pressure from the end spot is a huge question mark entering 2012. As a result Vandy is going to be needing increased pass rush pressure from their defensive tackles, and Rob Lohr in particular. Lohr had 4.5 sacks last year and he should continue to be a force on the inside in his senior season. As the year develops the outside pass rush will improve, but early in the season expect Lohr to put the defense on his very broad and capable shoulders. Top Stories