College Football News Preview 2020: Vanderbilt Commodores Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Vanderbilt Commodores Offense
Beyond simply saying that everything needs help, most importantly, the offense has to find one thing it can do well on a consistent basis. That might be a bit too daunting, but there’s one are that’s a must to fix.
Get more scoring chances, and take advantage of them. The offense just never, ever seemed able to go on long drives – it was in the red zone a nation-worst 21 times.
How bad was it? Akron – who really did nothing offensive – was the second-worst in red zone chances, and it got there 26 times. That was tied with Rutgers, who also seemed to be against the whole idea of scoring.
By comparison, LSU and Ohio State tied for the nation-high with 75 trips inside the 20.
Not only did Vandy struggle to get into scoring position, but it didn’t put the biscuit in the basket often enough when it did – only six teams were less effective at coming away with points in the red zone.
By the way, in 2018 Vanderbilt was 38-of-50 inside the 20. Not great, but at least it made plenty of visits.
Biggest Key To The Vanderbilt Commodores Defense
Find ONE area that can rock. Either be the team that dominates against the run, or the one that can give everyone’s passing game problems.
With all 11 starters coming back on D. there’s no excuse to not find something it can do consistently well.
Georgia ran for over 300 yards, and Purdue threw for over 500 the following week.
LSU went LSU and threw for 418 yards, and Ole Miss ran for 413. Florida threw for 410, and then Kentucky ran for 401.
It was as if opposing offensive coordinators went into Vanderbilt Week saying, “this is what we do well, and we’re going to do it over and over, because it can’t be stopped.”
The program has allowed over 5,000 yards of total offense in three of the last four years. Get that down to around 4,500, and this might be a far better season.
Key Vanderbilt Commodores Player To A Successful Season
QB Mike Wright, Fr.
Or JUCO transfer Danny Clark, or JUCO transfer Jeremy Moussa, or freshman Ken Seals.
Ball State transfer Riley Neal was supposed to be a whole lot better than he was – there just wasn’t anything happening to move the offense. The Commodores need a dangerous playmaker to build around, and the 6-3, 190-pound Wright might be it.
One of the team’s top recruits, he’s a good, accurate passer, but his real upside is as a runner. He’s got dangerous breakaway speed to be one of the team’s top rushing threats, but … he has to win the job.
No matter who it is, the Commodores have to get better quarterback play.
Key Game To The Vanderbilt Commodores Season
South Carolina, Oct. 31
If this is going to be a turnaround season with a run to a bowl game, the Commodores have to take care of Mercer without a problem in the opener, and they have to beat Ole Miss after taking it down the last two times in Nashville.
Beating Colorado and Louisiana Tech are a must, and it’ll take two other upsets to get to six wins.
The get a week off before facing South Carolina, who plays Texas A&M the week before and Georgia and LSU right after – welcome to a big-time sandwich game for the Gamecocks.
By the way, Vandy has lost 11 in a row in the series – the last win was in 2008.
– Vanderbilt Commodores Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Vanderbilt Fun Stats
– 3rd Quarter Scoring: Opponents 111 – Vanderbilt 38
– Fumbles: Opponents 9 (lost 5) – Vanderbilt 9 (lost 3)
– Rushing Yards: Opponents 2,505 – Vanderbilt 1,496