Vandy Looks to Secure Winning Season at Wake

The Commodores head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina Saturday night to take on the 6-5 Demon Deacons of Wake Forest University. Vandy will be trying to secure their seventh win and better their place in the bowl picture.

The Demon Deacons play pretty good defense. They are only giving up 19 points per game. They hold opposing offenses to 188.9 yards passing per game and have 15 interceptions on the season. The Dores passing offense really struggled against the Tennessee Volunteers, and things will not get an easier for them this weekend. The Vanderbilt quarterbacks will need to take care of the ball when they are given the opportunity to throw.

Running the ball is a little easier against this defense, but the Commodores rushing attack will be a man down this weekend because of the injury to starting tailback Jared Hawkins. Both Chris Nickson and Mackenzi Adams are nursing injuries as well, so do not be surprised to see some trick formations with Jamie Graham or D.J. Moore lined up to take a direct snap. This will give the Demon Deacons a different look to try and stop and take some pressure off of the ailing quarterbacks.

Wake Forest presents a balance attack on offense. They throw the ball for just over 190 yards per game. The passing attack is led by junior quarterback Riley Skinner who has thrown for 2,008 yards on the season with 12 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions. Wake's leading receiver is D.J. Boldin who has 69 catches for 709 yards on the season with 3 touchdowns. Skinner has only been sacked 20 times on the season. The Black and Gold defense will need to get after Skinner to force him out of his rhythm and make some throws under duress.

The Demon Deacons rushing attack averages 107.4 yards per game and is led by freshman running back Brandon Pendergrass who has 140 carries for 539 yards on the season. He is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry, and for the Dores to be successful in this game they will need to keep him around that average. Wake's running game is not explosive so the Commodores should be able to shut it down with just their defensive front. That will free up the secondary to only worry about the pass and will keep the Demon Deacons in third and long situations. That should help the Commodore defense get off the field on third down.

This is another game between two pretty evenly matched games. Vandy fans have seen plenty of those games this season and know that they usually come down to turnover margin and special teams play. For Vanderbilt to win this game they might need a special play from Moore. It has been quite a few weeks since he has made an electrifying play on special teams, and this would be a perfect week for him to rip off a couple of long returns. They will also need a solid effort from Brett Upson in the punting game, and Bryant Hahnfeldt in the kicking game. If the Commodores play their game on Saturday night they should head back to Nashville at 7-5 with a winning season secured.

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