When Vanderbilt faces Wake Forest on Saturday it will be playing a team that is very similar to the Commodores in several respects. Both are prestigious private institutions, each wear black and gold uniforms, both have identical 2-9 records and each have a strong linebacker tradition with former players in the NFL. Currently Vanderbilt has Chris Marve who is a team captain and one of its leading tacklers and Wake Forest has several outstanding linebackers.
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“They have some really big linebackers so going across the middle is going to be a lot more difficult because they have guys that do like to lay that lumber,” said Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews.
One player that the Commodore offense will need to be on the lookout for is 6-foot-5, 235 pound Kyle Wilber. Wilber, who was moved from defensive end a couple week ago, is the team’s second leading tackler and ranks in the top seven in the ACC in three defensive categories including forced fumbles, tackles for losses and sacks.
Wake Forest also has seniors Matt Woodlief and Hunter Haynes who are both excellent linebackers. Woodlief is second in tackles for losses on the team and Haynes is the team’s leading tackler with 70.
Saturday’s game will mark the final appearance at Vanderbilt Stadium for 17 Commodore seniors. The players will be recognized during a ceremony prior to kickoff.
As of Thursday the Vanderbilt staff still had not decided on the starting quarterback. Both starter Larry Smith and backup Jared Funk suffered injuries against Tennessee. Smith, who has a knee and arm injury, appears to be the most injured of the two players.
Vanderbilt leads its all time series with Wake Forest, 7-5. The Demon Deacons won the last meeting in 2008, 23-10. The game will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on CSS.