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Theater of Operations, Florida Vs. Vanderbilt: Previewing Vanderbilt's Rushing Attack

This year, the Vanderbilt Commodores don't appear to be your father's Vanderbilt. Heck, they aren't the same Vanderbilt from two years ago either. Ever since a loss to Alabama early on in October, the Commodores have lost to Arkansas and Georgia, and beat Army.

Those losses to Arkansas and Georgia by the way, were by a combined eight points. They lost to Georgia 33-28 and to Arkansas last week by the score of 31-28. The point being of course, that this year's Vanderbilt team shouldn't be taken lightly. The Commodores have always seemed to play the Gators tough, so be warned Gators, be warned.

After the jump, a look at Vanderbilt's rushing attack, which ranks 50th nationally.

Play No. 1: Zac Stacy's 19-yard touchdown run against Georgia: 


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Vanderbilt is just going to run a simple pitch-option play. Of course, as we all know, the quarterback is going to pitch the ball if the defensive end commits to him. Which is exactly how this play unfolds.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At the moment of the pitch, there is only one defender free (bottom green circle). But the fullback is ready to block him out of the play.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Stacy gets a great block here, though because of his cut-back to the inside, he probably beats it anyway. But, better safe than sorry right?


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

And there is the block (yellow square) that allows Stacy to get to the end-zone.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Stacy takes a hit, but in the end, it is a touchdown for Vanderbilt.

Play No. 2: Zac Stacy's 62-yard touchdown run against Arkansas:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Just a simple hand-off for Zac Stacy to the left. The key to this play is how well the offensive line and fullback handle their blocks.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Just after receiving the hand-off, there are only two defenders (green lines drawn) who aren't accounted for. But there is one offensive player (middle yellow circle) who hasn't decided on which defender he will block.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The offensive player chooses to block the linebacker (yellow square). Please note where on the field the block is occurring at.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Look at the location of the block now. He pushed the defender back straight back, five yards! And yes, on the video of the play, it looked extremely easy.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Oh, and yeah, Stacy then went and ran the remaining 50 yards or so for the touchdown. The Georgia defense caught up to him, but couldn't quite finish off the tackle at the 5-yard line.

Play No. 3: Jordan Rodgers' 19-yard touchdown run against Arkansas:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Vanderbilt's quarterback, Jordan Rodgers (bottom circle) can run the ball as well. As he does here, on an option-read play out of the shot-gun formation.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Rodgers at this point, makes the decision to keep the ball to himself. Reason being of course that the bottom defender (green circle) is free to make the tackle behind the line of scrimmage. Rodgers on the other hand, is free to go up-field once the lineman sets the block (yellow square).


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The lineman gets the block on the outside and Rodgers is free to run in-between that block and the rest of the offensive line. He also still has a lead blocker (the yellow circle at the bottom right of the square) available to help out as well.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The lead blocker head to the top of the screen (yellow square) and the rest of the play is all about Jordan Rodgers. At this point, he is cutting the play back to the inside. Which of course causes the safety to backtrack just enough for Rodgers to get the advantage. There also isn't another defender after the safety close enough to make a difference on the play either.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Touchdown, Vanderbilt.

The Vanderbilt Commodores aren't going to jump of the page at you as a great team. But they don't have to be a great team to beat you. They've hung in the game long enough to have chances to beat Georgia (who beat Florida) and Arkansas (who would be Florida), and that is more than enough to cause the Gators to worry.

But then again, at this point, the Gators can't afford to take anyone lightly.