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College Football Preview 2024: Vanderbilt Commodores win projections, strengths and weaknesses, quarterback spotlight and more

2RPY5R8 NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 02: Vanderbilt Commodores linebacker CJ Taylor (1) during the game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Alabama A&M Bulldogs on September 2, 2023 at FirstBank Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

After some encouraging signs in 2022, resulting in a 5-7 record, Vanderbilt once again sported the worst record in the Power Five this past season by going 2-10.

It’s been a rough stretch for the Commodores, who haven’t made a bowl game in five seasons. Vanderbilt brought in Diego Pavia, one of the nation’s best rushing quarterbacks, and still has some good players at linebacker and safety to help the program take a step forward. Expectations should still be low, though, as the Commodores face a tough schedule and have many glaring roster holes.

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Biggest Strength: A dynamic new quarterback

Vanderbilt added New Mexico State quarterback Diego Pavia this offseason, which should provide a boost to both its passing attack and ground game. The senior's 1,058 rushing yards in 2023 ranked fourth among FBS signal-callers.

Biggest Weakness: Essentially everything else

The Commodores finished 2023 with the worst record of any Power Five team, at 2-10. They had the Power Five’s sixth-worst offense and second-worst defense in EPA per play. Improvement is needed everywhere.

2023 Team Overview

EPA per play Yards per play Successful play rate Explosive run play rate Explosive pass play rate
-0.132 5.3 30.4% 11.2% 15.6%
117th 95th 120th 125th 48th
EPA allowed per play Yards allowed per play Successful play rate allowed Explosive run rate allowed Explosive pass rate allowed
0.147 6.5% 39.1% 16.4% 14.7%
129th 126th 128th T-87th T-81st

Three Notable Transfer Portal Additions

Three Notable Transfer Portal Losses

  • WR Will Sheppard (Colorado): 68.0 PFF grade
  • WR London Humphreys (Georgia): 68.7 PFF grade
  • DL Nate Clifton (USC): 65.8 PFF grade

Quarterback Spotlight: Diego Pavia

2023 Grade: 83.3
Key Stat: 1,058 rushing yards (fourth among FBS quarterbacks)


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