APSU PASSING DEFENSE
Senior receiver Jordan Matthews was an absolute monster, even with multiple defenders his way, catching 10 passes for 178 yards receiving and a score. Matthews is a clear leader among the offense and brings out the best in his teammates. Senior Jonathan Krause is a legitimate threat after catching just nine passes for 69 yards receiving a year ago. Krause caught six passes for 66 yards and moved the chains for the 'Dores three times.
The Commodores wasted no time getting their tight end involved in the passing game. Redshirt sophomore Steven Scheu had a pair of catches for 43 yards receiving, including a 34-yard catch that put Vanderbilt ahead late in the fourth quarter.
The Governors secondary is led by senior strong safety Tyreon Clark who stuck to the position after switching from cornerback in 2012. Junior free safety Johnathan Shuler was tied with safety Leron Eaddy for the most stops tallying seven tackles against Tennessee. Starting weak safety EnRiques Perry was fifth on the team with four tackles.
APSU RUSHING DEFENSE
Walkon defensive end Nii Lartey led the Governor defensive line with six tackles, including a team high two tackles for a loss. Leading the Governor's defensive line is senior defensive end Iosua Siliva who started every game a season ago. At nose tackle, Reese Bulmash is considered the defense's anchor with 21 career starts.
Senior middle linebacker Craig Salley came to Austin Peay as a walk on and led the team with 72 tackles in 2012, and had the teams first sack of this season against Tennessee.
VANDERBILT RUSHING DEFENSE
Senior tailback Terrence Oliver had five rushes for 18 yards rushing against the Vols. Tim Phillips led the team with eight carries for 38 yards rushing, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
Vanderbilt's rushing defense has a lot of work to do when it comes to responsibilities on the read option. Ole Miss outmaneuvered the 'Dores by using their speed and youth against them in the second half. Vanderbilt needs to shore up these issues quickly before getting back into SEC play.
Redshirt junior defensive end Kyle Woestmann, who is tied for third on the team with seven tackles, had a team high two sack and a quarterback hurry in the opener. Redshirt defensive end Stephen Weatherly also disrupted the backfield with a sack of his own. Starting sophomore outside linebacker Darreon Herring added five tackles, a sack, and two passes defended.
The 'Dores are full of experience and young talented players on defense. The Rebel's up tempo offense and long drives seemed to wear the Vanderbilt defense seemed down near the end of second half.
VANDERBILT PASSING DEFENSE
The Commodore secondary has been the strength of the Commodore defense over the last few seasons by not giving up big plays on defense. The strong presence of senior leadership and experience will lead to that tradition under Vanderbilt defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop.
Austin Peay junior quarterback Andrew Spivey completed 11 for 22 pass attempts for 94 yards passing and an interception. Redshirt sophomore Jacob Sexton did not fare better, completing two of his four pass attempts for 38 yards and an interception.
Senior running back Terrence Oliver is the Governor's leading receiver with 38 receptions for 328 yards receiving in 2012. Junior receiver Darryl Clack led APSU with three catches for a team-high 80 yards receiving. Freshman Rashaan Coleman and junior Javier Booker tied for second on the team with three catches for 20 yards receiving each.
Redshirt sophomore Taylor Hudson had a 16-yard punt to give Ole Miss field position that led to a score. Hudson later redeemed himself with two punts over 50 yards and ended the night averaging 40 yards per punt. Vanderbilt place kicker Carey Spear did not attempt a field goal against the Rebels but was the preseason All-SEC team after
The Governors return their punter for the third straight year with Ben Campbell who averaged 45 yards per punt, including a 51-yard punt in the opener against Tennessee.
Junior place kicker Walter Spears missed a 31-yard field goal attempt against the Volunteers after winning the fall battle for the kicking job.
Vanderbilt will be looking to clean up mistakes made in the opener against Ole Miss and will likely show a few new odd formations for the Gamecocks to have to prepare for. Vanderbilt will be focused on the task at hand against a Governor squad. The Commodores should be hungry and ready to unleash some fury on an opponent. Whether or not they leave some of that motivation in store for the South Carolina matchup will remain to be seen.
Kirby Cannon received a daunting early schedule in his first season as head coach of the Governors. Cannon is known as a program builder that took Missouri S&T from that a team that won a total of seven games over four seasons, to a team with a winning record in three of his last five years. The Miners' 7-4 record in 2005 was the winning record since 1985 for the program.
PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 55, Austin Peay 3