The Vanderbilt Commodores finally got in the win column last Saturday, though the commentariat was not impressed by the 24-18 win over Northern Illinois.
This week brings a road trip to Oxford, Mississippi, home of the Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss has looked eminently beatable this season — the Rebels are 2-3, with losses to Memphis (15-10), Cal (28-20), and Alabama (59-31), and wins over an awful Arkansas (31-17) and FCS Southeastern Louisiana (40-29). Of course, as beatable as Ole Miss is, actually beating them will require Vanderbilt to play at a higher level than what it’s shown at any point this season. Have our writers lost all hope, or can this season still be salvaged?
Ole Miss is one of several teams in the SEC that’s lost its starting quarterback to injury and somehow managed to look better after said injury, suggesting that they had picked the wrong quarterback from the start. Hey, guys, little tip, your offense isn’t supposed to look better with the backup quarterback running it.
Of course, I still would not call the Rebels’ offense good; it’s just not the tire fire it looked like early on against Memphis and even Arkansas. Stupid things always happen when Vanderbilt plays Ole Miss, and this year will be no different. Things are turning around, I can feel it.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 24, Ole Miss 21
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: LSU over 11 AM KICKOFFS. The way their fans have been talking about this, you would think 11 AM in Baton Rouge would lead to certain death; however, I think their bodies will sweat out all the beer, bourbon, and jambalaya they consumed at the tailgate. This will be a major upset to people who think they must play football games at night.
John Rhys Plumlee is using his legs to make up for a sputtering Ole Miss offense. They are averaging 225 yards per game through the air. Plumlee was 10/28 for 141 yards in his first start last week against Alabama. He was also 7/7 for 82 in relief against Cal. Vanderbilt’s DL and LBs need to contain him. If we can force Plumlee to throw from the pocket and not given him time to scramble or lanes to take off, I think the secondary should be fine. Hopefully DC Williams and Cam Watkins are both good to go this weekend though.
Offensively, I would expect that Jared Pinkney will be heavily featured in the game plan. Gdowski needs to use all of his weapons (which, he has done fairly well outside of not using Pinkney last week which is a MAJOR mistake) AND all of the field. This Ole Miss defense is not that good. They are not bad, but they are nothing to really fear. We can score points on them if the playcalling does not make us ridiculously easy to defend. I really do not have a good feeling about my grasp on how this game will go. We SHOULD win by 10 points or so. Will we? Eh, I’ll go a little lower than 10.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 28, Ole Miss 24
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Outside of us? None. If I have to pick one, I will go with Florida over Auburn in a game where Dumb Gus shows up and runs 37 WhirlyBird plays. It would be like a 9-6 game in that case.