Head to head: Vanderbilt vs. Rice

Next up for Vanderbilt is Rice. VandyMania.com compares different critical team areas of Vanderbilt and Rice and indicates which team has the edge.

Vanderbilt
AREA
Rice
COMMENTS
X  
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Rice rushing defense
 
Vanderbilt's Jared Hawkins had a big night against South Carolina, picking up 84 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Chris Nickson is also a dangerous weapon for the Vandy rushing game. He picked up 166 yards in Vandy's opener at Miami (Ohio). Vanderbilt gains just over 200 yards a game, good for 30th nationally. The Owls are no slouches at stopping the run. They allow only 80 yards per game.  
EVEN  
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Rice passing defense
EVEN  
Rice's passing defense is ranked 114th nationally and allowed almost 350 yards a game. Vanderbilt has not passed for more than 100 yards in either of their first two games this season. Howver, Vanderbilt Chris Nickson has been reliable completing 17 of 29 passes for 181 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.  
X  
Rice rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
 
Vanderbilt's defense, led by Patick Benoist and Chris Marve, have allowed just 94 yards per game on average on the ground. The Owls have rushed for an average of 160 yards a game, most of that comes from their quarterback. Opponents of Rice cannot concentrate on just the run as the Owls will bite you. Vandy's speed on defense should be a new experience for the Owls though.  
EVEN  
Rice passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
EVEN  
Vandy's highly regarded secondary will face its toughest offense challenge yet: a talented and well coached quarterback who can both pass and run. Vandy's D.J. Moore and company will have their work cut out for them controlling the Owl's Chase Clement. Whoever wins this battle will likely win the game.  
X  
Special Teams
 
Rice kicker Clark Fangmeier has made 2 of 2 field goals this season. Vandy's Bryant Hahnfeldt is also perfect and has connected on 3 of 3 field goals. Both teams have decent punters but Vanderbilt has superior kick/punt returning capability and the Vandy special teams have made big plays so far this season that has helped propel them to victories.  
EVEN  
Coaching
EVEN  
Bobby Johnson is 22-50 in his 7th season at Vanderbilt but has won 16 games since 2005. Rice's David Bailiff is in his second year with the Owls and sports a combined career record of 26-24.  

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