Oct 15, 2016; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb (27) is tackled by Vanderbilt Commodores linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) and defensive back Bryce Lewis (30) during the first quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Preview: Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee State

The Tennessee State Tigers will be traveling to Vanderbilt Stadium Saturday night to face the Vanderbilt Commodores. Both teams had exciting wins last week as the Vanderbilt Commodores won 17-16 against the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Tennessee State Tigers won 35-28 against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.

 Vanderbilt Commodores

The Commodores are heading into this week’s game with a 3-4 record and are sitting at fifth in the SEC East standings. This year, they have an average of 146.1 passing yards and 135 rushing yards per game. After their huge upset this past weekend against Georgia, Vanderbilt is looking for back-to-back wins. Vanderbilt hasn’t won two games in a row since the 2013 college football season. This past win was their first Southeastern conference road win.

 Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Offense

Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur has completed only 51.4 percent of his passes for 946 yards. He has three touchdowns, three interceptions, and hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in three straight weeks. With Shurmur underperforming, most of Vanderbilt’s points are coming from its running backs and receivers. As the star rusher, Ralph Webb has a total of 155 carries, 730 yards, and six touchdowns. Receiver C.J. Duncan has 192 yards and Kalija Lipscomb has 227 yards and two touchdowns. While their offensive players do score them touchdowns, Vanderbilt’s defense wins them games.

Defense

On average, the Commodore defense is allowing 22 points and 396.3 yards per game. Their defense was even able to hold off Georgia to a season-low 75 rushing yards. Linebacker Zach Cunningham leads the Vanderbilt Commodores defense with 81 tackles on the season, 19 of which came against Georgia last weekend. He has only had two games this season where he’s had less than 10 tackles. Cunningham was also awarded SEC defensive player of the week for his performance against the Bulldogs.

Tennessee State Tigers

The Tennessee State Tigers have had a good season so far with 5 wins and only 1 loss, which came to Eastern Illinois by 1 point. Starting quarterback Ronald Butler has completed 57.7 percent of his passes for 825 yards with seven touchdowns and only three interceptions. Top receiver Patrick Smith has a total of 452 yards and six touchdowns. Receiver Steve Newbold has accumulated a total of 488 yards and three touchdowns. Lead rusher Ericks Evan has a total 371 yards and four touchdowns.  On the other hand, Tennessee State’s defense has allowed on average 23.8 points and 343.3 yards per game.

Kickoff for the game is set for 7:30 p.m.

About Sydney Jones

Sydney is a senior studying telecommunications with a specialization in sports media at the University of Florida. She is a multimedia sports reporter for ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF and WUFT-TV.

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