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Previewing Vanderbilt at South Carolina: Topics for Discussion on the Vandy Defense

Is Vandy's defense good or just opportunistic? Vandy is a team that is perceived to have a great defense, and certainly most of their success last year has to be attributed to defensive play. However, a closer look at the stats reveals that Vandy often gives up lots of yards, only to bail themselves out with a turnover. They gave up around 400 yards to both Ole Miss and Georgia. The difference in the respective 22-3 and 34-10 scores? Vandy created turnovers against Ole Miss. My take on the 'Dores defense is that they don't have the athletes to be a truly great defense, but they're coached to take smart, calculated risks. That strategy has worked for Bobby Johnson before, and it'll work again against us if Stephen Garcia doesn't protect the ball.

Myron Lewis. Don't throw to his side of the field. Lewis, a solid NFL prospect, is the current star in a line of solid Vandy corners. Look for Spurrier to pick on the guy playing opposite of Lewis. Certainly don't look for any fades to the 6'3 Lewis's side.

Can we run the ball against Vandy? Vandy doesn't have the athletes we have on their defensive front. However, they managed to hold Ole Miss to less than 4 ypc, and while Georgia and LSU had more success, it's not like they lit the 'Dores up or anything. This is a game where you'd think Steve Spurrier and staff might want to try to churn yards on the ground, but we've got to prove we can do that.