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Austyn Carta-Samuels is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the SEC. At times the Vanderbilt signal-caller looks to be extremely accurate and in a nice rhythm, but that will vary as often as one series to the next. On one series he is reading defenses to perfection and putting his team in position to put points on the board, and the next series he doesn't look like the same quarterback. What is undeniable is that the talent is there for the senior leader. Carta-Samuels has a fairly strong arm and throws the ball well to the middle of the field. He throws the ball well on the run, but can struggle at times getting the ball to the outside and especially down the field. He appears to have the arm strength to make most if not all of the throws necessary, and he is a very good athlete. If the play breaks down, he can extend it or make something out of nothing with his legs. He isn't on par with a guy like Connor Shaw in that regard, but he can keep drives alive with his legs.
Vanderbilt has a three-pronged attack from the running back position led by sophomore Jerron Seymour. Seymour is very similar to Georgia running back J.J. Green in that he is short, compact, and tough to knock off his feet. He has double digit carries in his last three games and has a nose for the end zone with six touchdowns on the season. Behind Seymour is senior Wesley Tate. Tate actually leads the Commodores in carries on the season and is third on the team in receptions with 12. Tate is Vandy's biggest and most physical runner at 6-feet, 221 pounds and had a big night against South Carolina playing the position of wildcat quarterback. Behind those two is obviously Vandy's most explosive weapon at the position in sophomore Brian Kimbrow. Kimbrow has gotten lost in the fray at running back a couple of times this season, but the 5-foot-8, 185 pound sophomore is as dynamic of an offensive weapon as there is in the SEC. Kimbrow has elite quickness and big time speed. He only has four carries in the last three games, but he is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball.
Vanderbilt's top receiver may be the top receiver on any team in college football. Jordan Matthews is averaging just over 118 yards per game receiving with 47 catches for 709 yards. Matthews can make the tough catches in tight coverage and he can create consistent separation. He is extremely tough to matchup with one-on-one, and understands zone coverage well enough to sit down in the soft spots and make plays. Fellow senior, Jonathan Krause, has found his role as Vandy's second receiver and he, too is having a solid season. Krause is averaging more yards per catch than Matthews, and has been rock solid with a couple of 100-yard games of his own this season. Keep an eye on tight end Kris Kentera. The sophomore has caught six balls for 49 yards in his last two games including five catches for 39 yards against Missouri.
Offensive LineThe Commodores have a relatively small but athletic front five on offense led by senior Wesley Johnson. Johnson has been the Commodores' best offensive lineman this season and his ability to pass protect and work up to the second level in the run game is very valuable in the Vanderbilt offense. Redshirt freshman Andrew Jelks mans the other offensive tackle and he has had some growing pains thus far in 2013. On the interior, center Joe Townsend is emerging as one of the better players at his position in the SEC. Townsend is quick and plays with a great deal of effort on the interior. At guard, Jake Bernstein and Spencer Pulley have been wildly inconsistent this season. Both have had strong moments but both have also looked vulnerable at times. Bernstein appears to be playing hurt while Pulley's issues stem from his footwork and lack of quickness at times.
• 1st Down - Vanderbilt is a team that likes to use their perimeter screen game and short passing as an extension of its run game. With that said, the Commodores still favor the run on first down as they keep it on the ground 56 percent of the time.
• 2nd Down and long (7 or more yards) - This is a pass heavy scenario for the Commodores at 58 percent.
2nd Down and medium (4 to 6 yards) - This down and distance is one where Vandy has run the football 59 percent of the time this season.
• Second down and short (less than 4 yards) - This is also a run heavy down and distance for James Franklin and company as the Commodores turn to their rushing attack 63 percent of the time.
• 3rd down and long - Vanderbilt goes to the air 85 percent of the time on third and long.
• 3rd down and medium - The Commodores are more two-dimensional than one would think on third and medium, but they still turn to the pass 58 percent of the time.
• 3rd down and short - This is the most balanced down and distance for Vandy as the Commodores run the ball 51 percent of the time.
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