Commodores Face Tough Challenge in Athens

The Vanderbilt Commodores face their toughest challenge of the season when they travel to Athens this Saturday to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are one of the best teams in the country, and the Dores will need a near perfect game to head back home 6-1.

Georgia has talent all up and down there roster, but they are especially talented on the offensive side of the ball. The biggest challenge for the Black and Gold in this game will be stopping Georgia's star running back Knowshon Moreno. Moreno, a YouTube hero as The Voice of the Commodores Joe Fisher called him this morning, is dangerous every time he touches the ball. The key for the Vandy defense will be to keep Moreno between the tackles because most of his big runs come when he is able to break contain and get to the second level.

Containing Moreno is great, but Bobby Johnson's defense will still have to deal with Matthew Stafford and the Georgia passing game. Stafford is averaging just over 250 passing yards per game on the season and has already thrown 8 touchdown passes. He has three receivers, A.J. Green, Mohamed Massaquoi, and Michael Moore that are all averaging over 14 yards a catch with at least 13 catches. The Commodores' secondary is the strength of their defense, and they will be challenged on Saturday. If Stafford has time to throw he will pick the defense apart, so the best way to take some of the heat off the secondary will be for the front seven to pressure Stafford.

The Commodores do not want to get in a shootout with the Bulldogs. It will be very important for Vandy to get some production from their running backs to keep Stafford and company on the sideline. Running against the Georgia defense is no easy chore. They are only allowing 52.2 yards per game rushing and 2.1 yards per carry.

Coach Johnson announced on Monday that Mackenzi Adams will be the starting quarterback on Saturday. Adams has been a bit of a sparkplug for the offense this season, and they will need him to be that in this game. The Bulldogs are giving up 221.7 yards per game through the air. The biggest thing for Adams and the passing game will be to take care of the ball. This game could get out of hand in a hurry with a couple of Vanderbilt turnovers. Adams needs to take what the defense gives him and not try to force the ball into spaces that are not open.

This is going to be a tough game for the Commodores because the Bulldogs are more talented player for player, but it is a winnable game if they can play the type of football that got them out to a 5-0 start. They have to take care of the ball, force some turnovers, and not commit penalties. That recipe got them off to a 5-0 start, and is what cost them the game last week in Starkville.

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