Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
The Commodores haven't beaten the Volunteers at home in three decades. Is that about to change?
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Vanderbilt Commodores, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
This season marks the 30th anniversary of the last time that Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee in Nashville. Since then, the Commodores have beaten the Volunteers just once -- and that was in Knoxville during the 2005 season. Anyone who watched Tennessee play football in 2005 doesn't need that caveat explained to them.
This year, things are a little different than most seasons. Vanderbilt has at least a 50-50 chance at an eight-win season. Tennessee is probably not going to go to a bowl -- something that would be officially if they lost in Nashville today. At this point, it will be a bigger surprise if Derek Dooley is retained for the 2013 season than if he's shown the door by the end of the year.
Tennessee's offense is still dangerous. Only Florida and Alabama have head the Volunteers to fewer than 30 points. They rank second in the SEC in total offense, ringing up almost 500 yards a game, and the passing offense is the most productive in the conference.
The Tennessee defense, though, is less than optimal. That's a kind way of saying that the Volunteers rank 10th or worse in the SEC in every statistical category on defense, while rushing defense is the only category with that distinction for Vanderbilt. A shootout might not be the best thing in the world for Vanderbilt, but they also have the offense to keep things from getting too high scoring.
And the Tennessee defense should take care of the rest. Jordan Rodgers and Zac Stacy should be able to generate their share of yards against the Vols, and notch another historic accomplishment for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt 31, Tennessee 28