Vanderbilt Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Vanderbilt Commodores


The Commodores burst onto the college football scene, finishing with a solid 8-4 overall record and a 5-3 conference record.  This school, once labeled with the dreaded “basketball school” tag, hopes to carry their momentum from the regular season into the post season. They are currently on fire, reeling off an impressive six straight wins and are proving that they are an all-around athletic school.

2012 Record: 8-4, 5-3
Coach: James Franklin
Coach Bowl Record: 0-1

Big Wins: 11/10 at Mississippi (27-26), 11/24 at Wake Forest (55-21)
Bad Losses: 8/30 Georgia (13-17), 9/8 at Northwestern (13-23)

This team beat their opponents by being great defensively, particularly in defending the pass. Teams found it difficult to find clean throwing lanes or even a clean pocket against this physical, talented, and aggressive unit. They ranked 10th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game as opponents were only able to scrape together 175 yards through the air against them. Furthermore they made it difficult for opponents to complete passes against them, ranking 7th in the nation in passing efficiency defense. Opposing quarterbacks did not even average a 100 passing efficiency rating. They did a great job generating pressure as well, forcing quarterbacks to move around in the pocket and not let them get comfortable, compiling over two sacks per game, 38th in the nation. In one of the most important defensive stats, points allowed per game, Vanderbilt also exceled. They held opponents to under 20 points per game (18.25) and finished the regular season 18th in the nation. Lastly this unit does a job disrupting the run ranking 1st in conference and 6th in the nation in tackles for a loss, tallying an impressive 7.75 per game. This makes it difficult for opposing play callers because they will be faced with many long yardage situations.

In spite of the tackles for loss the Commodores struggled in stopping opposing running games, getting slashed for over 150 yards per game on the ground. When offenses can run the ball against the defense it makes it difficult to slow them down because it puts them in favorable down and distances and sets up the play action pass. The biggest flaw of this team is their inability to generate turnovers and protect the football. With the 84th national ranking in turnover margin, finishing at a -.42, the 8-4 record may be a little bit of a surprise. It is very difficult to win football games when you are giving the ball away more than you are taking it away. This will be a key factor in the outcome of their pending bowl game. Vanderbilt struggled offensively during the regular season in all aspects of the offense. Their rushing attack accumulated a middling 170 yards per game, while their passing attack struggled even more, mustering up a weak 222 yards per game. These offensive numbers will not blow anyone away, but it was enough for Vandy to win eight games on the year. They were only able to scrape together 29 points per game, 59th in the nation.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Zac Stacy, RB, 1,034 yards
Passing: Jordan Rodgers, QB, 2,431 yards
Receiving: Jordan Matthews, WR, 1,262 yards
Tackles: Kenny Ladler, S, 73
Sacks: Chase Garnham, LB, 5.5
Interceptions: Andre Hal, CB, 2; Trey Wilson, CB, 2

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 170.42 (53rd in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 222.17 (72, 8)
Total Offense: 392.58 (70, 7)
Scoring Offense: 29.33 (59, 9)
Rushing Defense: 150.58 (50, 9)
Pass Defense: 175.83 (10, 3)
Total Defense: 326.42 (18, 5)
Scoring Defense: 18.25 (18, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.42 (86, 10)
Sacks: 2.33 (38, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.92 (62, 6)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Liberty Bowl        Cincinnati (24-21)
2008    Music City Bowl    Boston College (16-14)
1982    Hall of Fame Bowl    Air Force (28-36)
1974    Peach Bowl        Texas Tech (6-6)
1955    Gator Bowl        Auburn (25-13)

*all team stats through 11/24


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