HEAD TO HEAD: VANDERBILT VS. TEXAS A&M

Vanderbilt visits Texas A&M on Saturday. VandyMania.com's D.T. Yates compares the two teams in several critical areas. We also make a prediction on the game's final score.

VANDERBIILT PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
TEXAS A&M PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: VANDERBILT
REMARKS: The Commodore offense may be without redshirt senior Austyn Carta-Samuels who was injured near the end of the first half against Georgia. Carta-Samuels leads the team with 1,672 yards passing and 10 touchdowns. Redshirt freshman quarterback Patton Robinette could see his first career start in a hostile environment at College Station. Robinette has completed 13 for 20 pass attempts for 148 yards passing and seen action in four games this season. Last week against Georgia Robinette completed 9 for 15 pass attempts for 107 yards passing, and ran another touchdown to spark the 'Dores fourth quarter rally. Senior receiver Jordan Matthews leads the Commodore offense with 58 receptions for 798 yards receiving, and five touchdowns. Matthews is just 14 receiving yards away from breaking the SEC career receiving yards record. Jonathan Krause has continued to take on more of a leading role throughout the season. Last week he led the team in receiving yards (89), while catching five passes, including three for first downs in the second half.

Texas A&M's passing defense ranks 13th in the SEC with opponents averaging 267.9 passing yards per game for a conference high 19 touchdowns against the Aggies. Junior safety Howard Matthews leads the team with 47 tackles, five passes defended, and a forced fumble. Junior free safety Deshazor Everett returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown against SMU. The following week he returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas. Everett has 39 tackles, including two for a loss, two interceptions, and two passes defended. Sophomore cornerback De'Vante Harris has started the last five games for the Aggies and has tallied 32 tackles, including one for a loss, and three passes defended. Opposite Harris is senior Tramain Jacobs who leads the Aggies with eight passes defended, an interception, and 29 tackles this season.

VANDERBILT RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
TEXAS A&M RUSHING DEFENSE
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Vanderbilt's rushing offense is led by sophomore Jerron Seymour who has 78 carries for 426 yards rushing. Seymour has the best vision of the field and is excellent out of the wildcat. He is tied for third most in the SEC with eight rushing touchdowns. The Commodore rushing attack improved over the bye week and won the battle for the trenches against Georgia. Redshirt senior Wesley Tate is second on the team with 66 carries for 281 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns. Tate is tied for third on the team with Seymour with 13 catches for 140 yards receiving and a score. The 'Dores are ranked 87th in the country, averaging 148.14 yards rushing per game.

After being suspended the first two games of the season, outside linebacker Steven Jenkins leads Texas A&M's front seven with 44 tackles, including 1½ for a loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. True freshman middle linebacker Darian Claiborne has been a force, tied for second on the team with 44 tackles, including a team high 4½ tackles for a loss, and an interception. Senior linebacker Nate Askew returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown against Sam Houston State, has tallied 17 tackles, including three for a loss, two interceptions, and two passes defended. The defensive line is led by rush specialist Julien Obioha who has 22 tackles, including three for a loss, a sack, and a quarterback hurry. Sophomore defensive tackle Alonzo Williams and true freshman nose guard Isaiah Golden combine for 4½ tackles for a loss, and two sacks. Golden has played in six games this season, starting in the last two for the Aggies. Texas A&M's rushing defense ranks last in the SEC, with opponents averaging 226.6 rushing yards per game against the Aggies.

TEXAS A&M PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
VANDERBILT PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: TEXAS A&M
REMARKS: The Aggie passing offense tops the SEC averaging 377.10 yards per game. Heisman winner Johnny Manziel is second in the country completing 73.3 percent of pass attempts and averages 327 yards passing per game. The redshirt sophomore has completed 159 for 217 pass attempts for 2,289 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, with seven interceptions. Receiver Mike Evans leads the conference averaging 146.3 yards receiving per game. Evans is the only SEC receiver with multiple 225-yard plus receiving games after putting up 279 yards against Alabama and 287 against Auburn. The sophomore has 43 receptions for 1,024 yards receiving and nine touchdowns this season. Junior receiver Malcome Kennedy is second on the team with 35 receptions for 364 yards receiving and four scores. Senior Derel Walker was limited against Auburn last week but has caught four or more receptions in four games this season and is Manziel's third favorite receiving target. Senior Travis Labhart and sophomore Sabian Holmes have both caught 15 or more receptions for the Aggies this season, scoring one touchdown each. Five other A&M players have a touchdown reception this season and 11 players have caught two or more receptions.

The Commodore passing defense is led by senior free safety Kenny Ladler who tops the team with 58 tackles, including one for a loss, an interception, two passes defended, and two forced fumbles. Ladler leads the SEC with 38 solo tackles, and had 10 tackles last week against Georgia. Strong safety Javon Marshall is third on the team with 47 tackles, including two for a loss, and sealed the upset over Georgia with his lone interception this season. Senior cornerback Andre Hal leads the team with nine passes defended, while adding 3½ tackles for a loss, and a fumble recovery returned for 10 yards against Georgia. Hal has yet to pull in his first interception this season and is on the Jim Thorpe award watch list. Senior cornerback Steven Clarke is one of eight defensive players to start every game for the 'Dores. Clarke returned an interception for 69 yards against South Carolina and four defended passes this season.

TEXAS A&M RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
VANDERBILT RUSHING DEFENSE
EDGE: TEXAS A&M
REMARKS: The Texas A&M rushing offense ranks sixth in the conference averaging 211.6 yard rushing per game. Manziel leads the team with 85 carries for 486 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Manziel will punish you with his feet and averages 396.4 yards of total offense per game. Second on the team is senior tailback Ben Malena who has 80 carries for 387 yards rushing, and eight rushing touchdowns. Sophomores Tra Carson and Trey Williams have also ran well for the Aggies. Carson leads the pair with four rushing touchdowns, and 254 yards rushing. Williams has accounted for three rushing touchdowns and leads the team averaging seven yards per carry.

Vanderbilt's rushing defense is tied for 64th in the country allowing opponents to average 159.71 yards rushing per game. Outside linebacker Darreon Herring has continued to improve throughout the season. Last week against Georgia the sophomore set career highs with 10 tackles and three passes defended. Opposite Herring is Karl Butler who was welcomed back to the lineup for last week's victory against Georgia. Butler is tied for second on the team with four tackles for a loss, with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Middle linebacker Jake Sealand is fourth on the team with 30 tackles, including one for a loss. Sealand forced a fumble last week that was recovered by defensive back Andre Hal. Defensive end Kyle Woestmann has started every game this season for the 'Dores and leads the team with 2½ sacks, and two quarterback hurries. Sophomore Caleb Azubike leads the team with 7½ tackles for a loss, and two sacks. Redshirt freshman nose tackle Adam Butler has been excellent in his first season. Butler is second on the team with four tackles for a loss, while adding one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

SPECIAL TEAMS
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Redshirt sophomore punter Taylor Hudson has been outstanding for the 'Dores ranking eighth in the SEC and 15th in the country averaging 43.4 yards per. Hudson has not had a touchback in 27 punts this season. Carey Spear has nailed field goals of 54 and 50 yards this season, in only seven field goal attempts this season the senior place kicker has missed just two, and is a perfect 30 for 30 on PATs. Last week Spear scored on a fake field goal against Georgia. True freshman kick returner Darrius Sims looks excellent running returns and often looks to be just one block away from breaking one for a score. Sims ranks eighth in the SEC averaging 22.9 yards per return. Jonathan Krause has handled punt returns for the 'Dores averaging 3.3 yards per return, with a long return of 18 yards.

Sophomore punter Drew Kaser leads the conference averaging 49 yards per punt. Kaser has a season long punt of 76 yards, and has pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line in half of his 20 punts this season. The Aggies have had two place kickers kick field goals this season. Sophomore Taylor Bertolet is two for three with a season long of 44 yards in the opener against Rice. Junior Josh Lambo has kicked made six of seven field goal attempts with a season long of 40 yards against Sam Houston State. Sophomore cornerback De'Vante Harris has handled punt return duties for the Aggies averaging 8.4 yards per return, with a long return of 30 yards. Sophomore kick returner Trey Williams puts the Aggies into good field position, averaging 24.9 yards per kickoff return, with a season long of 36 yards.

INTANGIBLES
EDGE: TEXAS A&M
REMARKS: The Vanderbilt offense ranks fourth in the conference in red zone offense scoring in 87 percent of trips. The Commodores have scored touchdowns in 24 of 31 visits to the red zone. The 'Dores are not at all afraid to go for it on fourth down and have converted 10 of 13 conversion attempts this season. There is a tendency by Vanderbilt to start the beginning of halves off slow. The 'Dores are outscored 52-99 in the first and third quarters. Vanderbilt is outscoring opponents 181-77 in the second and fourth quarters.

Texas A&M's red zone offense ranks 10th in the conference with the Aggies scoring in 81.2 percent of visits, while coming away with touchdowns in 33 of 48 red zone trips. The Aggies have converted attempts on fourth down in five of nine attempts. Texas A&M has converted 55 percent of third down conversion attempts. Texas A&M is one of the most penalized teams in the league, averaging 57 yards per game. Aggie opponents also lead the conference in amount of penalties, with Texas A&M opponents getting called for an average of 60.3 penalty yards per game.

COACHING
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Vanderbilt coach James Franklin finally got the signature win against a ranked opponent that everyone had been waiting for last week against the Bulldogs. Franklin proved what the Commodore coaching staff was able to do with the benefit of a bye week with an impressive turnaround on both the offensive and defensive lines. Vanderbilt held the high powered Georgia offense to just 221 total offensive yards.

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is coming off a spectacular first season in the Southeastern Conference with its first 11 win season since 1998, a victory over eventual national championship winner Alabama, and a 6-2 record in conference play. Sumlin coached the first ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner in Johnny Manziel.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M 38, Vanderbilt 35

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