A look at the three keys to the game for Vanderbilt in its AutoZone Liberty Bowl matchup with Cincinnati on Saturday:
1. Pressure the passer: Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros hasn’t played in a while. This will be his first game since Nov. 12 when he broke his ankle against West Virginia. The Commodores will look to bring pressure from different places, keep him guessing and not allow him to get into any kind of rhythm throwing the ball.
2. Win the turnover battle: Vanderbilt finished the regular season plus-2 in turnover ratio, and the Commodores forced 27 turnovers, which was fourth in the SEC. But their last four losses were by a total of 19 points, and one of those was an overtime loss. In those four losses, Vanderbilt turned the ball over 11 times and forced just six turnovers. They need to reverse that trend against the Bearcats.
3. Ride Zac Stacy: In addition to pressuring Collaros, the other way Vanderbilt can clamp down on Cincinnati’s offense is by keeping the Bearcats’ offense off the field. That’s where Stacy comes in. He rushed for a school-record 1,136 yards this season and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. The Commodores would love to get him 20-plus carries in this game and keep those sticks moving.