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Scouting the Vanderbilt Commodores: Three Things to Watch While Vandy Has the Ball

This post is the first in a series on our next opponent, the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Gamecocks will try to get their season back on track with a win in Nashville this Saturday at 7:00.

3. Warren Norman / Zac Stacy

Vandy has a talented RB duo in Norman and Stacy, who have combined to rush for about 700 yards and are both averaging around 6 ypc. Carolina has been fairly successful against the run this season (other than against Auburn), but Vandy will likely try to test us with these guys. Both are capable not only of moving the chains but of ocassionally busting a long run.

2. Can Vandy move the ball in the air, and if not, can it move the ball consistently without a passing game?

Although Vandy's running game has been decent this year, it's passing game ranks among the worst in the country. QB Larry Smith is back, and he remains an inconsistent performer. Their receivers, moreover, leave much to be desired; it's usually not a good sign when a TE is your leading receiver. If Vandy can't figure out a way to move the ball in the air, it may not matter how good Norman and Stacy are. Finding balance on offense has been an issue for the Commies all season.

1. Will Carolina get more aggressive with its coverage schemes?

Steve Spurrier has expressed his disatisfaction with his team's zone coverage schemes, and Ellis Johnson accepted a large part of the responsibility for the loss to Kentucky. It will be interesting to see if we move to a more aggressive scheme for this game. I'd like to see more jamming at the line of scrimmage and man-to-man coverages. We have the athletes to do whatever we want with our secondary, so I say we get physical and dare Vandy to beat us. I'd also like to see more aggressive blitzing. I'm not so fond of the three-man rush.