Vanderbilt Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

Vanderbilt Commodores


Vanderbilt is now a competitor in the SEC.  What an interesting sentence.  Not long ago Vanderbilt was considered a “gimme” win in the toughest football conference in America.  Since James Franklin took the head coaching job, Vanderbilt has made a tough conference even tougher.  The Commodores are consistently winning their out of conference games and fighting tooth-and-nail to win inside the SEC.  They are now a tough out.  Franklin is a fiery guy that demonstrates grit and tenacity.  His team has reflected his personality on the field.  If there is one thing to expect from Vanderbilt, it is that they will play until the final whistle every game.

2013 Record: 8-4, 4-4
Head Coach: James Franklin
Coach Bowl Record: 1-1

Big Wins: 10/19 Georgia (31-27), 11/23 at Tennessee (14-10)
Bad Losses: 8/29 Ole Miss (35-39), 10/26 at Texas A&M (24-56)

The success of the Commodores this season can be attributed to their turnover margin.  They are not exactly stellar - at least based on the numbers - offensively, but they get a lot of opportunities to possess the ball.  They have generated 26 takeaways and have a +6 margin in turnovers.  That benefits this team since it is important to keep the ball out of the hands of other playmakers across the line of scrimmage.  They have their own playmaker in Jordan Matthews, a senior wide receiver who is having a stellar season.  He caught more than 100 balls this year for over 1,200 yards.  He did not find the end zone that much, but that should not take away from his spectacular play-making ability in space.  The defense has been a pleasant surprise this year as well.  They allow just over 360 yards per game in total.  That puts them right in the middle of the conference in yards allowed.  That is impressive considering the Alabamas and Georgias also competing for stingiest defense.  It has kept them in games.

For as good as the defense has been at limiting offensive production, scoring has been a different story.  It all comes down to field position.  The defense gives up 25 points per game, which is not terrible.  When the opposing team makes it into the red zone, it is trouble for the Vanderbilt defense however.  They allow nearly a touchdown every possession in a red zone situation.  The offense has had some issues this season, the biggest one being the offensive line.  They allowed nearly three sacks per game over the course of the season, which is next to last in the SEC in that category.  Vanderbilt often runs with two quarterbacks, Ausyn Carta-Samuels and Patton Robinette.  Neither really gets the offense moving.  The Commodores average less than 365 yards per game.  The production has not mattered greatly as the Commodores have a winning record.  It would help if they get some consistency and high level production from someone other than Jordan Matthews.  Finally their special teams return unit is bad.  Their returners rank amongst the worst in the country on both kickoffs and punts.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jerron Seymour, RB, 627 yards
Passing: Austyn Carta-Samuels, QB, 2,268 yards
Receiving: Jordan Matthews, WR, 1,334 yards
Tackles: Kenny Ladler, S, 87
Sacks: Kyle Woestmann, DE, 5.5
Interceptions: Kenny Ladler, S, 5

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 133.0 (97th in nation, 14th in conference)
Passing Offense: 233.7 (65, 9)
Total Offense: 366.7 (94, 10)
Scoring Offense: 29.2 (65, 9)
Rushing Defense: 148.0 (42, 5)
Pass Defense: 204.3 (20, 5)
Total Defense: 352.3 (25, 5)
Scoring Defense: 24.7 (47, 9)
Turnover Margin: 0.5 (28, 4)
Sacks: 2.00 (62, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2,67 (100, 13)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2012    Music City Bowl    North Carolina State (38-24)
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 11/30


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