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Preseason View Of Vanderbilt
Posted Jul 13, 2013
The publishers of Scout.com’s Southeastern Conference sites believe that Alabama will win the 2013 SEC Championship. Bama is followed in the Western Division by Texas A&M, LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Auburn. The East prediction is Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky. Publishers also previewed their teams and this is part of that series.
What BCS football team has doubled its number program bowl appearances over the past five seasons? If you answered “Vanderbilt” you are absolutely correct. In the over 110 years before 2008 Vanderbilt’s all-time number of bowl games stood at three. Vandy has since bowled in 2008, 2011 and 2012 to improve its all-time bowl record to 3-2-1.
Times are special with the formerly downtrodden Vanderbilt program. Because of the on-the-field successes season ticket sales are at an all-time high and new facilities are being built. There is even talk of expanding Vanderbilt Stadium to 50,000 seats from its current seating of around 40,000. It’s stuff that for decades Vandy fans could only dream about.
Can Vanderbilt continue its momentum and become consistently successful in the SEC? That question is yet to be answered. However, the 2013 team returns a solid group of players to a schedule that looks conducive to another Vanderbilt bowl appearance.
Offensively it’s not going to be easy.
’s Commodores must replace a 2,500 yard passing quarterback, the program’s all-time leading rusher and a pair of offensive linemen.
is the front runner to replace now graduated quarterback
. Carta-Samuels isn’t as mobile as Rodgers but has a strong arm and some experience. He passed for over 3,500 yards in two seasons at
before transferring to Vandy prior the 2011 season.
It appears that it will be running back by committee for the Commodore ground game. Look for speedster
(413 yards, 3 TDs) and hard running
(376 yards, 8 TDs) to share the load in 2013 with jitter bug
, who was injured through much of last season, also getting significant carries.
Vanderbilt’s receiving corps returns intact.
, who made 94 receptions a year ago, returns. The other two starters,
(50 catches) and
(9 catches) also return. Steven Scheu returns at tight end but junior college transfer
could make a case for playing time.
Despite losing two starting guards, Vandy’s offensive line looks to be the deepest in years. Tackles
(38 career starts) and
return. Redshirt freshman
will man the guard spots with Joe Townsend returning at center. There is ample depth with experience.
A defense that allowed just 18 points per game a year ago must replace three defensive linemen, a linebacker and an All-SEC cornerback.
(10.5 TFLs) is the lone returnee on the line. Talented sophomore
(4 sacks) will man the other end.
will be the tackles.
(11.5 TFL) and senior middle linebacker
(7 sacks) return. Sophomore
(1 INT) will be the third linebacker.
The secondary loses Trey Wilson who returned five picks for touchdowns but returns cornerback
(2 INTs) and safeties
(90 tackles) and
is back but the Commodores must replace punter
. Redshirt freshman
is the leading candidate for that spot.
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