Three Keys: Vanderbilt at Wake Forest

Firstly let me wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving and here is to a weekend of food, family, and lots of football. I am willing to bet that when this game was scheduled Wake Forest had no idea that an SEC buzz saw would be heading to town for the final regular season game of the 2012 season.

Firstly let me wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving and here is to a weekend of food, family, and lots of football. I am willing to bet that when this game was scheduled Wake Forest had no idea that an SEC buzz saw would be heading to town for the final regular season game of the 2012 season. In a season where the bowl bound Commodores have set record after record, James Franklin's squad will go to Winston-Salem looking for their sixth win in a row. This would be the first time that has happened in 60 years. Here are the three keys.

1) Looking for a repeat performance

Though it makes little sense that Vandy has to travel to Wake for a second straight season, there is recent history in Winston-Salem that should cheer James Franklin's mood. In the 2011 clash, which the Commodores dominated 41-7, Zac Stacy rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, quarterback Jordan Rodgers had 229 total yards to achieve bowl eligibility. As good as that Vandy team was this one is even better, and even though the 5-6 Demon Deacons are fighting for bowl eligibility you get the feeling that a dominating repeat performance could be on the cards.

2) Play dominant defense

Wake is probably the strangest 5-6 team in the country and it says something to the weakness of the ACC that they even have that record. The Demon Deacons really just don' do much of anything very well. They rank 94th in the country in passing at around 200 yards per game and are even worse (114th) in rushing offense averaging under 100 yards a contest. To put that 300 yards of total offense into perspective Vandy went for almost 450 last week against Tennessee and Oregon is at around 550 per game for the season. When you add in the fact that Vandy has the 16th best scoring defense in the nation giving up just 18 points then you can see why this looks like a mismatch on paper.

The Vandy defense really has been outstanding in 2012 and this looks to be a fitting game for the unit to have its swansong. Expect the Commodores to come out hitting hard and mixing up defensive coverages to confuse the Wake passing attack. Vandy has been assignment sound all year long and nothing that is thrown at them this weekend should be a cause for concern. This game will be won by solid defense.

3) Feed Zac Stacy

As the lone senior skill position player of note this will be an emotional game for the guy who has become the defacto leader of the Vandy offense. Stacy has spent the season showcasing his all round skill set and as previously noted he has torn up Wake on this field before. I would expect Stacy to get 25 carries minimum and turn it into his own going away party as he plays his best game of the season. Stacy has brought a lot to Vanderbilt football and it would be fitting for him to finish off his regular season career with a bang.

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