Liberty Bowl Key Matchup
Posted on: December 29, 2011 10:40 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
A look at the key matchup that could determine the Liberty Bowl
Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt vs. Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati
Running back Zach Stacy has been the most consistent piece of the Vanderbilt offensive attack all season. Stacy has put together five different 100-yard performances thus far, and will be counted on to stabilize the offense against a stout Cincinnati rushing defense. But the junior running back enters the bowl game with a heightened sense for the goal line, scoring seven of his 13 touchdowns in the final three contests of the regular season.
Lining up opposite of Stacy on the defensive line will be Cincinnati's dominant tackle Derek Wolfe. Wolfe led the Big East with 19.5 tackles for loss and added 9.5 sacks to lead the top ranked defensive unit. With mobile quarterback Jordan Rodgers also in the Vanderbilt backfield, Wolfe and the rest of the Bearcats defensive line will need to get penetration through the offensive line to disrupt the rushing game.
The Commodores have taken after their first-year head coach with a hard-nosed attitude and their success this season has come thanks to a strong rushing attack and much-improved defense. The best way for Cincinnati to make life easy for Zach Collaros, making his first appearance since breaking his ankle on Nov. 14, is to shut down Vanderbilt's rushing attack early and give the senior quarterback plenty of early snaps to find his groove. In order to make that happen, they'll need a big-time performance from Derek Wolfe.
Keep up with all the latest on Vanderbilt and Cincinnati at the Liberty Bowl Pregame
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Tags: Big East, Brandon Barden, Butch Jones, Casey Haryward, Chip Patterson, Chris Boyd, Chris Marve, Cincinnati, D.J. Woods, Derek Wolfe, DJ Woods, James Franklin, JK Schaffer, Jordan Matthews, Jordan Rodgers, Liberty Bowl, Liberty Bowl Preview, Liberty Bowl Projections, Munchie Legaux, SEC, Vanderbilt, Zac Stacy, Zach Collaros