The Vanderbilt Commodores are 1-4 after last week’s loss to Ole Miss, and fans are checking out on the season. To the extent that there’s good news, this week’s opponent, the UNLV Rebels, are also 1-4, and unlike Vanderbilt they don’t have the excuse of losing four games against Power 5 teams. Do the Commodores get back on track this week?
I don’t really know what to think about this team any more. Allegedly, this team has three good playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, but the quarterback and offensive line play are holding them back. The defense has gotten gashed by basically everyone they’ve played outside of Northern Illinois.
Of course, UNLV also isn’t very good, so that probably won’t be much of an issue this week. It will just be closer than we’re comfortable with.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 42, UNLV 28
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I am not a believer in KENTUCKY, and I will pick them to lose to Arkansas.
Riley Neal is starting this game, but Deuce Wallace will play early, according to Derek Mason. I think Deuce, even if he is no better than Riley or has some other deficiencies can spark the offense. This gets discussed more thoroughly in the mailbag.
The defense is due for a good game. They could have had a decent day at Ole Miss if not for 3 or 4 plays where missed tackles or bad angles by Redshirt Freshman safeties turned routine plays into runs of 54, 78, and 84 yards with 21 points on the board from them. They were typical “young guy” mistakes. UNLV probably does not have the pure speed to take those plays to the house without being caught, and the young safeties should learn from their mistakes.
Ke’Shawn is also probably going to have multiple runs of 20+ yards. I will take Vanderbilt in a good, comfortable win that is maybe not quite as dominating as we would like to see.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 34, UNLV 13
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Even though I took Missouri to cover +11 in the Pick’em (why DID I do that?), I think Ole Miss has a good chance to win that game. Kelly Bryant was nicked up on a REALLY dirty play by Troy and their best defensive player Cale Garrett is out for the game. Ole Miss has found their offense (scored 31 and averaged more than 5 yards per play against Bama before shellacking us).
Every team that has faced Vandy’s defense has tallied more yards in the area their offense emphasizes (ie. rushing or passing). UNLV was a rushing attack but their running QB went down and their true freshman QB threw it 55 times against Boise State. I think they throw it a lot and try to exploit the secondary.
On offense, I think Vaughn goes off- three TDs and near 200 yards. It will open up the passing game, and it will be the game that gets us all excited that the offense has figured it out.
But hey, a win is a win is a win.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 44, UNLV 24
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Ole Miss gonna cover and win outright against Mizzou.
Andrew VU ‘04
The season is over. The Mason era is in its lame duck stage (hopefully). I know nothing about UNLV, but this one’s a “fire the whole staff if we lose” game. I don’t think we’ll lose, but I also don’t think we’ll be happy after this one. Think the NIU game. Wash down with plenty of bourbon.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 27, UNLV 17
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: There are only two real upset possibilities this week: Florida over LSU and THEM over Clanga. Neither are likely. Screw it, let’s go nuts and take The Game Penises over Dog Balls Resting Gently on a Tray of Ice.