by: Knox Bardeen
The Vanderbilt Commodores (0-2) will host their second home game of the season Saturday when the Presbyterian Blue Hose (1-1 ) land in Nashville. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on CSS. Bob Neal will have the play-by-play with Cole Cubelic as analyst and Dawn Davenport on the sideline.
The Commodores were handed a tough Southeastern Conference loss by South Carolina to start the season. Then last week let a seven-point halftime lead slip away on the road at Northwestern. The Wildcats scored 17 fourth-quarter points to come from behind to beat Vanderbilt.
Quarterback Jordan Rodgers, brother of Green Bay Packers signal caller Aaron Rodgers, has been remarkably steady in his two starts under center. He threw for 214 yards and a touchdown on 13 of 23 passing against South Carolina, then went 17-for-33 against Northwestern for 217 yards.
Presbyterian beat Brevard by 35 points in its first game of the season and then lost to Georgia Tech last Saturday, 59-3.
The Blue Hose rushing attack leads the way on Saturdays with Lance Byrd and Demarcus Rouse. Byrds averaged 6.1 yards per carry through two games, going 195 on 31 carries. Rouse has only carried the ball 14 times but has gained 146 yards and found the end zone three times.
What to Watch
Presbyterian has never faced an SEC opponent in its Division I history (2007), Vanderbilt will be the first. The Blue Hose did play Florida, but that was on Nov. 17, 1945.
The Blue Hose defense was extremely good recovering fumbles last Saturday against Georgia Tech. Presbyterian picked up three, even setting a Division I record for Brandon Lestons 91-yard rumble. The Commodores have fumbled six times already in 2012.
Michael Ruff could reach 1,000 yards receiving over his career in Saturdays game. The Presbyterian wide receiver needs five yards to hit the 1,000-yard mark and needs 205 yards to move into second place on Presbyterians all-time list.
Presbyterian is just 3-29 on the road since moving to Division I in 2007.
Vanderbilt is 15-1 against FCS opponents and has won the last nine games against the Football Championship Subdivision.
Zac Stacy needs just 11 yards to move into sixth place on Vanderbilts all-time rushing list. He likely wont stay in sixth place for long. Stacy is just 116 yards behind third-place Jamie ORourke (2,202 yards) and 546 yards away from Vanderbilts all-time leading rusher, Frank Mordica (2,632 yards).
Vanderbilt has scored just six points in the second half of it two games this year, a field goal against South Carolina in the third quarter and a field goal against Northwestern in the fourth quarter. The Commodores average just 13 points per game in 2012.