Three Keys Vanderbilt vs Charleston Southern

Vanderbilt may be getting a break from SEC play with the visit of Charleston Southern this weekend, but this is not an opponent the ‘Dores should be taking lightly given all that has gone on this season. The Buccaneers are an undefeated 5-0 on the season and they run a tricky offense which is unlike any that Vanderbilt has seen all year.

This is a game the Commodores should win and given the apathy that is surrounding the program at present it is, quite frankly, a game they must win. Here are the three keys.

1) Make the run the focus

We all know by now that the West Coast offense which Karl Dorrell likes to run is at odds with the skill (or at least experience) level of the players on the field. With Patton Robinette again sidelined with a concussion Wade Freebeck will get the start and it will be interesting to see how he copes against a non-SEC defense.

The key though has to be the establishment of the running game. Despite the often shoddy offensive line play that we have seen this season Ralph Webb, Jerron Seymour, and Dallas Rivers have all been effective running the ball. Webb in particular has been massively important and it is no stretch to say that the Gainesville native has been the ‘Dores best player on offense through five games. This really is the week where Dorrell needs to use his backs and pound away at the Buccaneers undersized defensive line. As soon as the backs get rolling he can start working in the play action and getting tight end Steven Scheu involved in the game. Basically the game plan this week should be very simple and it is important that the coaching staff doesn’t over think what they need to do.

2) Take advantage of sloppy play

Charleston Southern may be 5-0, but it hasn’t exactly been against a murders row of opponents. The best team the Buccaneers have beaten was a 3-3 Charlotte squad last week, and even that game took overtime. CSU is prone to committing to many penalties (10 against Citadel) and too many turnovers (three against Charlotte). It is important that Vandy puts pressure on this team both offensively and defensively because to this point in the season the Bucs have not proven that they deal well with teams who control the tempo of the game. If Vanderbilt have their heads in this game and play it in the way they should then Charleston Southern will have 7+ penalties and a couple of turnovers by the final whistle.

3) Make the Buccaneers kick field goals

The Charleston Southern offense is certainly good enough to move the ball against a Vanderbilt defense which has not held up its end of the bargain for large portions of the year. The key then is going to be stopping the Buccaneers when they are moving the ball and make them try for field goals instead of touchdowns. Obviously this is a key most weeks, but it will be especially so on Saturday as CSU kickers David Kennedy and Bryan Jordan are a combined 2-of-6 on field goal tries this year and between them they have also missed three extra points. If Vandy can find a way to make the kickers be involved in the game then it is a positive thing for the black and gold. Top Stories