Auburn vs. Vanderbilt Preview

Posted by Tiger Histalmos | 7:40 PM | 0 comments »

OVERVIEW

Auburn Tigers 4-1 (2-1) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores 4-0 (2-0)


Location: Vanderbilt Stadium

Time: 5 p.m. CDT

TV: ESPN

VANDERBILT COMMODORES


Head Coach:
Bobby Johnson (7th Season)

Conference: Southeastern Conference

Key Players to Watch: QB Chris Nickson, RB Jared Hawkins, WR Sean Walker, S Ryan Hamilton, S Reshard Langford


The Commodores have surprised many people, including myself, this season. Many are wondering if this is finally the time Vanderbilt turns it around. With Chris Nickson improving during the season, capitalizing on turnovers, and an NCAA leading 11 interceptions by their defense, its easy to see why they are in the position that they are in.



AUBURN TIGERS

Head Coach: Tommy Tuberville (10th season)

Conference: Southeastern Conference

Key Players to Watch: QB Chris Todd, RB Ben Tate, WRs Montez Billings and Robert Dunn, The Auburn Defense.

All the attention has been on Auburn's offense and what can be done to get it going. While it has been inconsistent, it has shown some glimpses of being productive. Course when you have a top notch defense, ugly games or not, wins still count as wins.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This top twenty matchup will feature these aspects:


Quarterbacks: Vanderbilt

Chris Nickson has shown improvement over time at Vanderbilt. He is definitely the leader for this offense. Auburn has yet to find a leader.

Running Backs: Even

The dual threat of Nickson and Jared Hawkins gets the 'Dores over 200 yards rushing per game. Ben Tate is the man getting most of the carries at Auburn. Brad Lester will be back to play this game to help with the load. Its even here cause Auburn has more depth than Vanderbilt.

Wide Receivers: Even

Vanderbilt does not pass it much, but when they do it is effective. Sean Walker is Nickson's go-to guy. Auburn's depth is better at WR, but has showcased its talents sparingly during the season.


Offensive Line: Vanderbilt

There is a reason Vandy has over 200 yards per game this season. It starts up front. Auburn's OL is still looking for answers.

Defensive Line:
Auburn

Vanderbilt's DL is nothing to sneeze at, but the quartet of Antonio Coleman, Tez Doolittle, Sen'Derrick Marks, and Michael Goggins is possibly the best starting four in the conference.

Linebackers: Auburn

Patrick Benoist and Chris Marve are first and third on the team in tackles respectively. They know who has the ball on the field. Auburn has the luxury of substituting out LB's at will and do not suffer a drop on talent.

Defensive backs: Even

Both teams have excellent secondaries. Ryan Hamilton leads the 'Dore secondary with three interceptions. The team has eleven interceptions total. Auburn, while not having as many interceptions, has great playmakers that break up passes. Jerraud Powers leads this group of DBs.

Special Teams: Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt gets the nod here cause of Bryant Hahnfeldt's perfect season for field goals this season. Both teams have great punters and return-men.


Coaching: Even

Bobby Johnson and company are smooth sailing right now. Tuberville and crew are sailing on some rough waters.

Intangibles: Vanderbilt

This is Vandy's biggest game so far this season. All the pressure is on Auburn, and the spread offense will be shelved for something else this game. Plus the Commodore fans will be up for the game after getting their fill of College GameDay during the morning.



FINAL ANALYSIS

As much praise as Vanderbilt has gotten this season, the reason they have won games is because of capitalizing on turnovers. Statistically, Vandy is dead last in the SEC for yards per game on both offense and defense. Teams have managed to gain decent yardage on the 'Dore's defense. Auburn has been successful in getting what is needed and letting the defense run the table. Another ugly game ensues, with the Tigers winning another close game.

Final Score:

Auburn 14, Vanderbilt 10

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