Get to know your opponent: Vanderbilt Commodores

Vandy will try to become bowl eligible when they host the Vols Saturday night in Nashville.

NASHVILLE - Editor's Note: This story has been corrected to reflect Tennessee's record entering Saturday's contest against Vanderbilt. Tennessee has an 8-4 record (4-4 SEC) following Saturday's contest.

The Tennessee Volunteers finish the regular season on Saturday in a road contest against SEC and instate opponent Vanderbilt.

No. 24 Tennessee (8-3, 4-3 SEC) enters the the contest on a three-game winning streak.

Here’s what Tennessee Vols fans need to know about the Vanderbilt Commodores:

Editor’s Note: The AP Top 25 Poll was used for the rankings in this story.

Overview: Vanderbilt is playing for automatic bowl eligibility, though the Commodores still may get into a bowl game even with a loss on Saturday.

The Commodores are seeking to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2013, which marked James Franklin’s last season coaching the team.

The 2013 season marked the last time Vanderbilt beat Tennessee.

Vanderbilt is coming off of a 38-17 home win against Ole Miss.

 

Date: Nov. 26

Game Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: SEC Network

Site: Vanderbilt Stadium

 

Nickname: Commodores

2016 Record: 5-6 (2-5 SEC)

Coach: Derek Mason

Series against UT: Tennessee leads the series against Vanderbilt 75-29-5.

The Vols beat the Commodores 53-28 last season.

UT is 37-18-4 against Vanderbilt when the game is played in Nashville.

The series dates back to 1892.

 

Things to know about the Vanderbilt Commodores:

1. Redshirt junior running back Ralph Webb is fourth in the SEC with 1,239 all-purpose yards: Webb is sixth in the SEC with 1,058 rushing yards.

Webb needs 27 yards to break Zac Stacey's career school rushing record, and 136 yards to break Stacy's single-season record.

Tennessee allows 253 rushing yards per game, which ranks 116th among 128 FBS teams.

Webb has 10 rushing touchdowns this season. Vanderbilt has a 4-1 record this season when Webb scores a touchdown.

 

2. Redshirt junior linebacker Zach Cunningham is a Butkus and Bednarik Award semifinalist: Cunningham leads the SEC with 109 tackles, and is second in the conference with 16.5 tackles for loss.

He is the first Vanderbilt player since Jamie Winborn (1998-2000) to record consecutive 100-plus tackle seasons.

 

3. Vanderbilt's defense has 13 sacks this season: The total is the fewest among the 14 SEC teams.

Vols junior defensive end Derek Barnett has 11 sacks on his own this season. Barnett is one sack away from tying Reggie White's program record of 32 career sacks.

Tennessee Volunteers career sacks leaders:

1.       Reggie White, 1980-1983: 32 sacks

2.       Derek Barnett, 2014-present: 31 sacks

3.       Leonard Little, 1995-1997: 28 sacks

4.       Jonathan Brown, 1994-1997: 25 sacks

5.       Todd Kelly, 1989-1992: 22.5 sacks

Barnett’s 31 career sacks rank second among all active FBS players. He is the only player in SEC history to record 10 or more sacks in three separate seasons.

 

4. Vanderbilt ranks No. 1 in the SEC in red zone offense: The Commodores score on 94.7 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line.

Vanderbilt also has the No. 2 red zone defense in the SEC. The Commodores allow offenses to score on just 66.7 percent of their trips inside the 20.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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