The Vanderbilt Commodores need to win their final two games of the season to finish 6-6 and get bowl eligible. So what’s the good news? Well, both of the remaining games are at home — and both are against teams that currently sport 5-5 records.
That starts with Saturday’s game against Ole Miss. The Rebels, like the Commodores, are 1-5 in the SEC with the lone win being over Arkansas; Ole Miss had a lot more trouble with Arkansas than Vanderbilt did. Ole Miss has Jordan Ta’amu, second in the nation in passing yards; a solid running back in Scottie Phillips; and one of the best receivers in the country in A.J. Brown. The problem is that they basically don’t play defense. Will Vanderbilt be able to win the inevitable shootout?
4-6 with a bunch of losses in close games going into home games against Ole Miss and Tennessee? This is 100 percent the same thing that happened in 2016, and we remembered how that ended. And here’s my prediction: it will happen again.
On Saturday, Andy Ludwig will remember that Ke’Shawn Vaughn exists, will give him the damn ball, Ke’Shawn Vaughn will run the damn ball, and will probably run for 300 yards, because Ole Miss’s defense... well, after my Ole Miss defense preview yesterday, an Ole Miss fan on Twitter suggested that the tweet should have linked to “404 File Not Found.” If you are worried about Vanderbilt’s ability to win a shootout, stop. Because two weeks ago, a team coached by Will Muschamp got in a shootout with Ole Miss, and won 48-44.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 49, Ole Miss 45
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: UAB (+15.5) over TEXAS A&M. Fuck it, I’m going for it. Go Blazers. You made Watson Brown look competent once.
Andrew VU ‘04
Sweet sassy molassy, if you thought last week felt like a Big XII game (as we played the Big XII’s own Missourah), hold onto your butts. This is shaping up to be an all offense, no defense, last team with the ball wins shoot-out.
Lipscomb will score two, Pinkney will score two, and Ke’Shawn will have at least one 75+ yard TD run.
Of course, defensive geniuses Mason and Tarver will let up about 500 yards of total offense.
Ole Piss needs this for
Bowl eligibility ...umm... moral victory Bowl eligibility; we need this for APR Bowl eligibility. That was a depressing sentence to write!
No matter. The very fact that most of us are ready to replace Coach Mason means he will win this game. Chaos reigns.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 54, Ole Miss 40... or fight!
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Have to agree with Tom here: future Vanderbilt Head Football Coach Bill “Used to be Mel” Clark goes into Grode Jar Land and comes out smelling like roses.
I think the biggest bold prediction this week belongs to VU ‘04 IF he thinks we get to 54 with 4 FGs. I think it is basically even money that a score of 54 is reached by shanking 2 PATs. Hell, forcing two safeties and getting a 2-point conversion may be as likely as 4 FGs. The good news is that on a fairly cold night in Nashville the band will have plenty of reasons to play, and the fans will be given plenty of reasons to cheer in a high event game.
The difference in the game will be Vanderbilt actually having a modicum of defensive fight. JoeJuan Williams or someone else in the secondary (or maybe on the defensive line) will get at least one INT. Scottie Phillips’s status is still up in the air, but I doubt he will be at his best even if he does play. Jordan Ta’amu is also apparently limited with a knee issue that will keep him from being quite as much of a dual threat. If the Commodores can get a stop or two to go with a forced turnover or two, the offense should easily score enough to win the game.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 49, Ole Miss 38
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I do not see UAB pulling off the upset. The Blazers are an amazing story, but they will have their second loss of the season after Saturday. With all of the cupcakes, the only two other options are Ole Miss over us (yay being favored!) or THEM over Missourah. I picked the Yankee Tigers in the pick ‘em, but of all the options, that game seems most likely. It depends on what offensive line shows up for the Vols though. They manhandled a great Kentucky front after not getting any push against Charlotte.