Vanderbilt Running Backs vs. Te’von Coney and Drue Tranquill
The Commodores distributed the ball fairly evenly amongst four different running backs in their first two games of the season. This appears to be their strategy moving forward. Head Coach Derek Mason indicated that after their first game, but he also added that they would ride the hot hand if one of the backs was playing particularly well.
If Mason had to choose one running back on his roster to be the work horse for the remainder of the season, it would probably be Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Vaughn transferred to Vanderbilt from the University of Illinois after the 2016 season. After sitting out the 2017 season due to NCAA restrictions, he did not appear rusty at all, as he ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games this year.
Notre Dame’s front seven has been pretty effective at stopping the run so far in 2018. The Irish currently rank 27th in yards per rushing attempt allowed with an average of 2.8 yards. In the linebacker group, Coney and Tranquill have shone. After two games, they are first and second in total tackles respectively. Those two and the rest of the Notre Dame front seven will be put to the test on Saturday when they face a Vanderbilt team that likes to establish the running game.