The Bulldog offense disappeared while opening day starting quarterback Joe Tereshinski endured a high ankle sprain.
Last week, Tereshinski returned, and the
After beginning the season scoring with ease against I-AA Western Kentucky, Tereshinski's injury forced Coach Mark Richt to go with a couple of youngsters who were clearly not ready to start. The Bulldog offense stagnated.
Let's take a look at some of their statistics.
Scoring: 26.8 points per game ranks fifth in the SEC and 47th of 119 in Division I-A
Rushing Average: 135.3 yards per game (4.3 avg) ranks 8th in the SEC, 62nd in Division I-A
Passing Average: 165.5 yards per game ranks 8th in the SEC, 87th in Division I-A. The Dogs are completing 51.4% of their passes and averaging 6.7 yards per pass attempt.
Passing Efficiency: 109.45 ranks 10th in the SEC and 89th in Division I-A
Total Yardage: 300.8 yards per game ranks 10th in the SEC and 91st in Division I-A
QB Sacks allowed: 7 sacks in 6 games ranks 4th in the SEC and 20th in Division I-A
Turnover Margin: -2 in 6 games ranks 9th in the SEC and 73rd in Division I-A
Breakdown by Position
Massaquoi is a football magnet. You won't see him drop balls within arm's reach. He is the primary receiver on a majority of pass plays, and Vanderbilt must shut him down in order to have any chance to win the game.
Bryant is the current leader in receptions with 10. He's not as consistent as Massaquoi, but he is a serious deep threat.
Backups Demiko Goodman (6-2, 189 So.) and Kenneth Harris (6-3, 214 So.)
The Bulldogs were expected to have a major drop off at this position after the loss of All-American Leonard Pope. Martrez Milner (6-4, 240 Sr.) has filled Pope's shoes quite admirably. He's been tough over the middle and has shown he can bulldoze his way into the secondary. Currently, Milner ranks second on the team in receptions.
Coleman Watson (6-6, 250 Jr.) is more of a blocker than a pass catcher.
The Bulldog offensive line isn't as strong as last season's stellar group, but they are still quite talented. As a group, they have yielded just seven quarterback sacks, and they have opened holes for their running backs to average 4.3 yards per rush.
Tackle Ken Shackleford (6-5, 315 Sr.) is the workhorse of the
interior. He's been in for the most
snaps thus far. Fellow tackle
Daniel Inman (6-7, 319 Sr.) is the big stud of the front wall. You will see him playing on Sundays next
year. As has been the case with
most Vandy opponents,
Both guards are new starters this season. Chester Adams (6-4, 320 Jr.) and
Fernando Velasco (6-4, 315 Jr.) are not as competent as the two tackles, but
they are not weaknesses either.
Adams teams with Inman to provide
Nick Jones (6-3, 295 Sr.) is a returning starter who played guard last year and won the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week award after Georgia clobbered Kentucky 45-13 in November. He is agile for his size and provides excellent pass protection.
There's quite a bit of irony here.
Tereshinski has started and completed two games this season.
Tereshinski (6-3, 217 Sr.)
is the veteran even though he has a grand total of four career starts, two less
than Vanderbilt quarterback Chris Nickson.
When he returned to the starting lineup against
Matthew Stafford (6-3, 225 True Fr.) will see action in the first half
against Vanderbilt. He took over
for the injured Tereshinski in the
Joe Cox (6-1, 200 RS Fr.) came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs in
their comeback win over
Brannan Southerland (6-0, 242 So.) beat out former starter Des Williams
(6-1, 245 Jr.). Southerland leads
the Dogs with six touchdowns (on just 23 touches), as he is a bulldog at the
goal line with an ability to sniff his way into the end zone. He scored twice against
Williams missed all of the 2005 season after earning the starting position. He's rebounded this year and contributed some, but he's not
Coach Richt likes to use multiple tailbacks in order to keep them fresh. Kregg Lumpkin, Danny Ware, and Thomas Brown combine to give the Bulldogs three multi-purpose backs.
Lumpkin (6-1, 200 Jr.) has taken over as the chief back the last few
games. He topped 100 yards rushing
against Ole Miss and ran for 78 yards on 13 carries last week against
Brown (5-8, 185 Jr.) was the leading rusher last year with 736 yards and
a five yard average. He began this
season as the starter, but weak performances sent him to the bench. He recovered with a commendable game
Ware (6-1, 223 Jr.) has not started a game, but he is the best breakaway threat. So far this season, he is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and scored twice. Of the three backs, he is the best pass catcher. When he's in the game, it's like having another receiver in there.
The Bulldogs were leading the NCAA in scoring defense until the
Here is a look at
Scoring Defense: 14.2 points per game allowed ranks 4th in the SEC and 17th in Division I-A
Vs. The Run: 102.5 yards allowed per game (3.0 avg) ranks 3rd in the SEC and 27th in Division I-A
Vs. The Pass: 155.8 yards allowed per game ranks 4th in the SEC and 16th in Division I-A. The Dogs allow 57.1% of enemy passes to be completed and allow 5.8 yards per pass attempt.
Opp. Passing Efficiency: 110.4 ranks 4th in the SEC and 34th in Division I-A
Opp. Total Offense: 258.3 yards ranks 2nd in the SEC and 12th in Division I-A
Tackles For Loss:
Turnover Margin: -.33 per game ranks 9th in the SEC and 73rd in Division I-A
This is one of the deepest front fours in the nation. Defensive ends Charles Johnson (6-2, 275 Jr.) and Quentin Moses (6-5, 250 Sr.) form the best pair of terminals in the SEC. Moses should be a first day pick (likely first round) in the 2007 NFL Draft, while Johnson should hear his name called the following season.
Moses has registered 16 tackles to date. Seven of those stops have been for losses, including a quarterback sack. He's added an eye-popping 17 QB hurries even though most opponents double team him the entire game.
Johnson's stats are a little better, but he doesn't always face double teams. He's made 21 stops, with nine for losses (3.5 sacks). He's gotten his hands on four passes while forcing the quarterback to hurry eight times.
Marcus Howard (6-2, 220 Jr.), Roderick Battle (6-4, 249 RS Fr.), and
Jeremy Lomax (6-4, 220 So.) have seen meaningful minutes in relief of the two
Owens has made 13 stops so far with 1.5 being for losses. He has one sack, but he has been credited with 12 QB pressures in six games. He's also force a fumble.
Gant didn't see a lot of action until the
Weston has not recorded a stop behind the line yet, and he only has five QB hurries.
Geno Atkins, Dale Dixon, Marquis Elmore, and Tripp Taylor provide excellent depth.
Linebacker Tony Taylor (6-1, 237 Sr.) leads
Jarvis Jackson (6-2, 218 Sr.) and Danny Verdun-Wheeler (6-2, 244 Sr.)
Rover Tra Battle (5-11, 176 Sr.) is the elder statesman of the
quartet. He came to
Kelin Johnson (6-1, 192 Jr.) starts at the lone safety spot. He is tied for second on the team with
32 tackles, three for losses. He's
recorded a pair of QB sacks to go with two QB hurries. He picked off a pass against
Cornerback Ramarcus Brown (5-11, 173 So.) has 27 tackles so far. He's broken up two passes and forced a
fumble. Fellow cornerback Paul
Oliver (6-0, 205 Jr.) has the other interception. He did that against Ole Miss and
returned it 30 yards. He forced a
Backup cornerbacks Asher Allen, Bryan Evans, and Prince Miller have seen enough playing time to record 24 tackles with 2.5 of them for losses.
For the season,
Gordon Ely-Kelso follows a tradition of fine punters, including some who
punted in the NFL and some who played other positions (Zeke Bratkowski, Jimmy
Orr, Bobby Walden, Spike Jones, Bucky Dilts, Jonathan Kilgo) in
Place kicker Andy Bailey made the SEC All-Freshman team in 2004 when he nailed 36 of 37 extra points and 14 of 20 field goals. He is one of the top five kickers in the SEC, but he's only second best on his own team. Brandon Coatu was the best kicker in the conference and among the top five in the nation, but he's done for the season after suffering a torn hamstring two weeks ago.
That orange "T" on the helmets of the team that burned Georgia's defense
in the second half last week may have given the Peach State's inhabits the
belief that it stood for "Tecumseh," as in General William Tecumseh
Sherman. The Vols marched through
For Comparison Purposes, here's how Vandy ranks in the offensive and defensive statistical categories. The first number in parentheses represents SEC rank and the second number represents D1A rank.
Scoring Offense: 21.2 ppg (10 & 83)
Rushing Offense: 158.2 yds per game (2 & 43) and 4.9 avg (5.7 w/out sacks)
Passing Offense: 162.8 yds per game (10 & 89)
56.4% completions and 6.6 yards per attempt
Passing Efficiency: 122.5 (8 & 68)
QB Sacks Allowed: 9 in 6 games (5 & 45)
Total Offense: 321.0 yds per game (9 & 75)
Turnover Margin: 0 (8 & 60)
Scoring Defense: 16.8 ppg (7 & 32)
Rushing Defense: 148.5 yds per game (8 & 79) and 4.3 yards allowed per rush
Passing Defense: 154.3 yds per game (3 & 12)
Allows 51.4% completions and 6.7 yards per attempt
Passing Efficiency Defense: 129.6 (8 & 69)
QB Sacks: 10 in 6 games (10 & 66)
Total Defense: 302.8 (8 & 40)
TFL: 34 in six games