While it took Vanderbilt four tries to get an SEC win this season, don’t blame the defense.

In conference play, the Commodores are No. 1 among SEC defenses in two key categories:

Vanderbilt’s numbers haven’t quite been the same when facing nonconference foes. When all games are included, VU’s defense ranks No. 8 in scoring defense (22 points per game) and No. 8 in total defense (5.6 yards per play) among SEC teams. The remaining schedule, however, is primarily conference foes (Tennessee State, Auburn, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee).

Maintaining recent success against SEC offenses could be the key to getting the Commodores (3-4, 1-3 SEC) into a bowl game.