Nov. 21, 2017
– Vanderbilt travels to Tennessee for the regular season finale in the Commodores’ oldest rivalry with the series beginning in 1892.
– The Commodores have won three of the last five games against Tennessee, winning last season and back-to-back games in 2012-13.
– Vanderbilt’s passing game is averaging over 300 yards per game over the team’s last four games and enters the weekend as the third-best passing attack in the SEC.
– RB Ralph Webb moved into ninth on the SEC’s all-time rushing list last week and is just the ninth player in league history to reach 4,000 rushing yards. He needs 41 yards to move up to seventh on the list.
– QB Kyle Shurmur matched Whit Taylor’s single-season school record set in 1982 with his 22nd touchdown pass last week. Shurmur’s next TD pass will set a new Vanderbilt single-season record.
PBP: Dave Neal
Analyst: Matt Stinchcomb
Reporter: Dawn Davenport
VANDERBILT IMG NETWORK
Flagship: WLAC 1510-AM/98.3 FM
Voice of the Commodores: Joe Fisher
Analyst: Norman Jordan
Sideline: Mitch Light
Sirius: N/A | XM: N/A
SHURMUR MOVING UP VANDERBILT CHARTS
Kyle Shurmur has put together an impressive junior season having passed for 22 touchdowns to match Whit Taylor’s school record from 1982. Shurmur has thrown a career-best four touchdowns twice this season, including at South Carolina. He threw nine all of last year and entered the season with 14 in his career.
Shurmur ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in multiple categories, including passing efficiency (8th), touchdowns (2nd), passing yards per game (2nd) and passing yards (2nd). He also ranks third in the league in points responsible for with 150. His 22 touchdown passes rank 25th in the nation.
The junior’s 22nd passing touchdown last week moved him in front of Jay Cutler’s 21 in 2005 and into a tie with Taylor.
Shurmur’s solid season also began his ascension up the Vanderbilt record charts moving him into fifth all-time in passing yards (5,452) and into fourth all-time with 36 career touchdown passes. He’s also added three 300-yard passing games this season, the most in a season by a Commodore since AustynCarta-Samuels in 2013.
SHERFIELD MOVES INTO TOP 10
Trent Sherfield has moved into ninth all-time at Vanderbilt with 130 receptions after hauling in four passes last week against Missouri. He also moved into eighth all-time in receiving yards at VU with 1,788 yards.
He needs three catches to move into eighth on the receptions list and 91 yards to move up one spot on the yards list.
THE INCREDIBLE MR. WEBB
With numerous Commodore records in his hip pocket, senior running back Ralph Webb has become one of the leading rushers in Southeastern Conference history.
The three-year starter from Gainesville, Fla. enters the Tennessee game with 4,010 rushing yards, No. 1 all-time at Vanderbilt. He is just the ninth player in SEC history to run for 4,000 yards.
Webb started the season No. 20 all-time among SEC backs and has moved up to 9th with one game left. He’s sixth on the active rushers list in the NCAA.
In 2016, Webb broke the Vanderbilt single-season record en route to setting the new school career mark. He rushed for 1,283 yards, surpassing Zac Stacy‘s previous record of 1,193 yards in 2011. He also added 13 rushing touchdowns and posted seven games of 100+ rushing yards.
The 2016 All-SEC performer has been remarkably consistent and durable as a Commodore. Since entering the lineup in 2014, Webb set freshman, sophomore and junior rushing records. He enters the weekend riding a 48-game consecutive start streak.
Webb’s Vanderbilt records
– Career rushing yards: 4,010
– Career rush attempts: 906
– Single-season rushing yards: 1,283
– Single-season rush attempts: 277 (2016)
– Rushing yards by a junior: 1,283
– Rushing yards by a sophomore: 1,152
– Rushing yards by a freshman: 907
– Most 100+ rushing games in a season: 7 (2016)
– Most 100+ rushing games in a career: 15
– Total career touchdowns: 33
Webb would like to break one more career record held by Stacy. He is one rushing touchdown shy of breaking Stacy’s mark for rushing touchdowns. He moved passed Stacy for career touchdowns with a score against Western Kentucky.
Webb eclipsed Stacy’s career rushing mark in a 111-yard rushing performance against NC State in the Camping World Independence Bowl Dec. 26.
In 2016, Webb also became just the second Commodore to top 1,000 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons. He joined Stacy, who accomplished the feat in 2011-12.
IN THE AIR
Vanderbilt’s passing game has been one of the Southeastern Conference’s best this season, entering the final week averaging 240.0 yards per game to rank third in the league.
The Commodores’ 23 touchdown passes are the most since 1982 when the team passed for 26 touchdowns, including Whit Taylor’s school record 22 TD passes. Kyle Shurmur matched Taylor’s record mark last weekend with his 22nd touchdown pass.
Vanderbilt is looking to close out the season averaging over 200 yards passing for just the fourth time since Jay Cutler led the Dores in 2005 to a school-record 280.5 yards passing per game. Cutler also led VU to a 28-24 win at Tennessee in the season finale that year.
Shurmur and the Commodores have been airing it out over the last four games, averaging 303.3 yards per game. The junior QB has three 300-yard games during the stretch, including back-to-back 300-yard games with a season-best 348 last week against Missouri.
The team has been committed to the passing game with 165 pass attempts and 105 rush attempts over the last four games. Shurmur is 99-for-165 (60%) in those four games with eight touchdowns.
Trent Sherfield and Kalija Lipscomb have been key targets for Shurmur with Sherfield hauling in 21 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown and Lipscomb catching 16 passes for 283 yards and two TDs. TE Jared Pinkney posted a career-best six catches for 119 yards last weekend.
Vanderbilt and Tennessee have played it tight over the teams’ last five games with the Commodores winning three of them.
The combined score of the five games puts the Dores narrowly in front 145-139after last season’s 45-34 victory inNashville.
Ralph Webb is set to start his 49th straight game on Saturday. The senior from Gainesville, Fla. has started every game of his career over the last four years dating back to 2014.
Webb’s 48 career starts are among the most by a Commodore in school history. Wesley Johnson holds the school record with 51 career starts, starting at four different positions on the offensive line during his career.
With a start on Saturday, Webb will move into second all-time at Vanderbilt passing former linebacker and current linebackers coach Chris Marve and offensive lineman Brian Stamper (2003-07).
The Vanderbilt offense has put up impressive numbers over the team’s last five games, averaging over 400 yards during stretch.
The Commodores racked up over 400 yards in road games at Ole Miss and South Carolina and gained 390+ against Western Kentucky and Missouri.
The Vandy offense has ran for 580 yards and passed for 1,438 yards while averaging 26.2 points over the last five games.
Only three Commodores have carried the ball or caught passes in every game this season.
On the other side of the ball, four Dores have registered tackles in every game. The team’s three leading tacklers, LaDarius Wiley, Oren Burks and Ryan White along with Dare Odeyingbo have made at least one stop in all 11 games.
Webb, Kyle Shurmur and offensive linemen Bruno Reagan and Justin Skule have started all 11 games with Wiley, Charles Wright and Joejuan Williams the only three defenders to get the starting nod in all 11 games.
IT’S A STREAK
Ralph Webb is slated to make his 49th straight start at Vanderbilt on Saturday, by far the longest active streak on the roster.
On the other side of the ball, TreHerndon’s streak of 29 straight starts was snapped at Florida. Only three defenders have started all 11 games this season: LaDarius Wiley, Joejuan Williams and Charles Wright.
COMMODORES SET TO HOST SEVEN GAMES IN 2018
Vanderbilt’s 2018 schedule features seven home games at Vanderbilt Stadium, including games against Nevada, Florida and Tennessee.
The Commodores will also travel to Notre Dame, Georgia and Arkansas next fall.
VU is set to play in the first nine weeks of the regular season before taking the team’s bye week Nov. 3. The schedule has the Dores playing four of the team’s first five games at home before playing four of the next five on the road. The schedule wraps up with annual foes Ole Miss and Tennessee at home.
Sept. 1 Middle Tennessee
Sept. 8 Nevada
Sept. 15 at Notre Dame
Sept. 22 South Carolina
Sept. 29 Tennessee State
Oct. 6 at Georgia
Oct. 13 Florida
Oct. 20 at Kentucky
Oct. 27 at Arkansas
Nov. 3 OFF
Nov. 10 at Missouri
Nov. 17 Ole Miss
Nov. 24 Tennessee