Cougars prepare for dual-threat QB at BBVA Compass Bowl

Vanderbilt, the University of Houston’s bowl opponent, will have a different pass-catch combination on Jan. 4 when the teams face each other at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. Vanderbilt freshman quarterback Patton Robinette will have access to an All-American wide receiver, Jordan Matthews.

Robinette is not entirely inexperienced. He has appeared in nine games with two starts, including one win, a 34-17 victory against Florida. Robinette, a 6-foot-4 Maryville, Tenn. native, has further benefited from several weeks of rest and additional practice, the coaching staff said.

“I think this is great for (Robinette),” Vanderbilt quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne said to the Nashville Tennessean. “Any time you can get reps, it’s a great deal.”

Robinette inherited the starting duties after senior Austyn Carta-Samuels injured his ACL against Georgia on Oct. 19. Robinette, who is more mobile and runs the read-option, has rushed for 177 yards and six touchdowns, one being a fake jump-pass-turned-run to beat in-state rival Tennessee.

“He’s got a lot of experience,” said Houston head coach Tony Levine. “He’s not a single-threat guy; he’s a dual threat. He can throw it and run it. He can throw it; he scrambles, and they have designed runs for him. We’ve got to be very gap-sound with what we do defensively. If the coverage is good, we’ve seen him on film just tuck it and run for a first down.”

The other end of the Vanderbilt offensive spectrum is Matthews. The 6-foot-3 senior set SEC receiving records, including most yards in a single season and first to get 100 catches in a single season, and became the SEC’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards.

“Jordan Matthews is one of the top receivers in the nation,” Levine said. “We watched a lot of video on him, and we haven’t found a weakness yet. He’s very talented, very fast, physical, blocks well. He does things away from the football that sometimes you don’t see. He’s going to be a handful.”

The Cougars against dual-threat quarterbacks this season

UTSA: Eric Soza 316 yards passing 2 TDs, 16 yards rushing 1 TD

BYU: Taysom Hill 417 yards passing 4 TDs, 128 yards rushing

UCF: Blake Bortles 210, -10 rushing yards

Louisville: Teddy Bridgewater 203 yards passing, 6 yards rushing 

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