Head to head: Vanderbilt vs. Auburn

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

Vanderbilt
AREA
Auburn
COMMENTS
EVEN  
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Auburn rushing defense
EVEN  
This will be a battle of the nation's No. 26 rushing offense (VU) against the No. 18 rushing defense. Jared Hawkins is the Commodores top ground gainer picking up almost 79 yards a game. Defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks is a beast for the Tigers.  
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Auburn passing defense
X  
Vanderbilt doesn't have a bad passing offense. They just haven't done much of it. The return of wide reciever and team captain George Smith should boost the VU passing game. Smith was hurt before the season but is now practicing and expected to play. Auburn has a very good passing defense which is rated 12th nationally.  
EVEN  
Auburn rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
EVEN  
This is a match up of a good rushing offense going against a good rushing defense. Ben Tate leads the Tigers on the ground, getting about 80 yards a game average. He rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown in last year's 35-7 Auburn victory over Vanderbilt. Linebacker Patrick Benoist and defensive end Steven Stone are the Commodore's top run stoppers.  
X  
Auburn passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
 
Statistically you might think this would be even or but one statistic you have to consider is Vanderbilt's 10 interceptions so far this season. Auburn's top quarterback is Chris Todd but if he falters look for Kodi Burns to see playing time.  
EVEN  
Special Teams
EVEN  
Both teams have solid kickers. Vanderbilt's Bryant Hahnfeldt has made 7 of 7 field goals this season and 40 of 61 in his career. Auburn's Wes Byrum has connected on 5 of 9. D.J. Moore gives Vanderbilt an explosive presence in their return game. Moore is currently ranked No. 1 nationally in punt returns as he averages 29 yards a return. Auburn's Robert Dunn is not far behind at No. 6 (21 ypr).  
EVEN  
Coaching
EVEN  
Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson is 24-50 at Vanderbilt but is 13-15 in his last 28 games. Tommy Tuberville is 9-0 all time versus Vanderbilt including several years as head coach at Ole Miss.  

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