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September 21, 2012

Vanderbilt's Offensive Approach

I was going to write a post on their defensive approach and how to exploit it, but it is very simple: blow them off the line, run the ball well in the middle and protect the QB, take chances down the field. Repeat often.

Now, for their offense. They like to run the ball with Zac Stacy, often times with a pitch or something else designed to get him to the edge. This allows them to exploit pursuit while minimizing one on one match-ups on the line with bigger defensive players. [INSERT YOUR OWN ILLEGAL BLOCKING SCHEMES COMMENT HERE]. They will also look to throw to him on little swing passes, hoping to freeze the linebackers. Look for him to get 20 touches. Vandy's offense thrives on Stacy's ability to make yardage and keep the defense off balance due to their ability to move him, and where he gets the ball, around.

The rest of their offense is predicated on the short passing game. The passing game is where they have struggled. They usually come out in a three receiver set, with a couple of TEs. About half the time, both TEs are on the line, so they aren't afraid to slip a TE out as a receiver. However, they only have two receivers with more than 4 catches: Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd. They will take shots down-field, but their bread and butter plays rely on those two guys getting open quickly and letting them make stuff happen after the catch.

One other facet of their offense revolves around the QB being able to check into a designated QB run or knowing when to tuck and run. Carta-Samuels didn't do this much last week. Rodgers probably does this in his sleep.

Jordan Rodgers absolutely killed us with that last year. In the second half,  Rodgers rushed for three first downs, however they were huge. One was on 3rd and 7 for 10 yards. One was on 2nd and 21 for 40 yards. The last was on 4th and 1 for 14 yards with under two minutes to play (the drive ended with a Rambo int, which led to the blocked punt). His ability to make yardage with his legs when we gave him the opportunity was the key to them coming back and being in the position to make the game very, very interesting.

One other thing Vandy's offense thrives on. Trick plays.  We can count on Vandy to pull out trick plays. Last year, they ran two at key times: The Zac Stacy 43 yard TD pass and the 4th down fake punt conversion. Both happened on the same drive, actaully happened nearly back to back. If we get a two score lead, you can count on them doing something just like this.



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