Head to head: Vanderbilt vs. Boston College

Next up for Vanderbilt is Boston College in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl. VandyMania.com compares different critical team areas of Vanderbilt and Boston College and indicates which team has the edge.

Vanderbilt
AREA
Boston College
COMMENTS
 
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Boston College rushing defense
X  
BC edge here. The Eagles, led by defensive lineman B.J. Raji, have the nation's seventh best rushing defense. Vanderbilt's running game has been off of late but if Jared Hawkins and Chris Nickson are healthy things could get interesting. Also, the moving of Jamie Graham to tailback could be a plus for VU. Graham played against Wake with one week of practice at TB. How will he do after 15 practices?  
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Boston College passing defense
X  
The Eagles get the advantage here too. Boston College's passing defense is just as tough as their rushing defense. Yes, the Maroon and Gold is seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense and No. 1 in the nation in total interceptions with an impressive 26. In fact, two Boston College defenders have 6 interceptions this season, strong Paul Anderson and linebacker Mark Herzlich. Vandy will counter with chris Nickson and the nation's 112th passing offense but look out for freshman All-SEC tight end Brandon Barden and Jamie Graham, sure Graham is playing tailback but don't be surprised to see him snare a catch or two. Barden has 27 catches this season for the 'Dores.  
EVEN  
Boston College rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
EVEN  
EVEN matchup here. Boston College has a decent rushing attack and picks up about 143 yards a game total on average which is 64th best in the nation. Their top runner is Montel Harris who averages 65 yards a game, however, he has rushed for over 100 yards in five games this season. Vandy, led by linebackers Chris Marve and Patrick Benoist, has the country's 69th best running defense.  
X  
Boston College passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
 
VU gets the edge here because the Commodores have D.J. Moore and company who are very good at defending the pass. The Commodores will miss the quick feet of defensive end Broderick Stewart, who was injured in the game against Tennessee. B.C. will rely on redshirt freshman quarterback Dominique Davis who, against Virginia Tech, completed 17 of 43 passes for 263 yareds, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Davis was playing for injured senior quarterback Chris Crane, who was injured the week before at Wake Forest (sound familiar?).  
EVEN  
Special Teams
EVEN  
Eagle kicker Steve Aponavicius has made 14 of 21 field goal attempts this season. He has connected on his last five attempts. Senior Bryant Hahnfeldt is Vanderbilt's all-time leading scorer and has connected on 10 of 14 field goals this season. He has made 43 of 68 field goals during his career and 116 extra points, which is good for 245 points. He also has 15 career tackles. Vandy and Boston College are about equal in other aspects of special teams. Both do really well at returning punts.  
EVEN  
Coaching
EVEN  
Jeff Jagodzinski is in his second year at BC and has a 20-7 record. Head coach Bobby Johnson is only 26-56 at VU but he has Vanderbilt bowl eligible for the first time since 1982, something four coaches before him and only three other coaches in Vanderbilt football history have been able to do.  

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