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Saturday Predictions: Northern Illinois at Vanderbilt

The AoG staff makes their picks for Saturday’s game.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After an 0-3 start, Vanderbilt finally gets a home game against a beatable team. Vanderbilt hosts the Northern Illinois Huskies at 11 AM (of course) on Saturday looking for their first win of the season. The Huskies’ lone win came against FCS Illinois State, while they’ve lost to Utah and Nebraska by a combined score of 79-25.

Does Vanderbilt get a win this week? Let’s see what the writers here think.

Tom Stephenson

So: I think Vanderbilt is probably better than it’s looked over the first three games of the season. Georgia and LSU are going to make a lot of teams look bad, and Purdue... well, let’s just say that was a bad game. Northern Illinois, in spite of their reputation, is not that much of a threat. Vanderbilt isn’t on the level of Utah or Nebraska, but they’re good enough to beat Northern Illinois. A loss here, and I think we can start looking at head coaching candidates, but I don’t think it will happen.

The Pick: Vanderbilt 31, Northern Illinois 21

The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Did you know that Kentucky (+2.5) has won five in a row against SOUTH CAROLINA? I’m not about to pick against a streak like that.


Tom hit it here. Vanderbilt’s defense finally gets away from an explosive offense. Shawn’s preview of the Wolfpack offense told us how allergic to scoring they are. The defense not be very good, but it is significantly better than the current rankings show. They will have a good day. Meanwhile, Ke’Shawn flashed a few times in the LSU game, and he is going to be hungry for a really big day after being mostly bottled up this season. Pinkney and Lipscomb along with other guys like CJ Bolar (weirdly quiet so far) and Cam Johnson should have good performances, too. This one will not be close. I hope.

The Pick: Vanderbilt 34, Northern Illinois 13

The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: No underdogs will win this week. The only one possible is Kentucky over SC, but I think the Cock offense is going to thrust into the end zone repeatedly.

Shawn Allen

I think Vanderbilt exercises some demons on both sides of the ball. I suspect they will start fast, have a late 1Q/early 2Q lull, and then put the peddle down. The O/U is 51 and the Dores are only a 6.5 favorite. I’d take the under but pick Vandy big. Lots of Vaughn early, Lipscomb and Pinkney to open the floodgates then maybe a little more Vaughn for icing on the cake.

The Pick: Vanderbilt 41, Northern Illinois 3

The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I’d love to pick Arky over the Fighting Jimbos. A let down game on the road to an inferior opponent. That’s a recipe for a Jimbo flop if I’ve ever seen one. No chance they cover (-23.5), though.