Neither team looked particularly good in its season opener. Purdue went to Reno, Nevada, and lost to Nevada on a last-second field goal. One of these teams will come out of this game with an 0-2 record.
What say the Anchor of Gold staff?
So, Derek Mason and Jeff Brohm meet again. The first time they met, Brohm won, 14-12 on a Thursday night in Nashville in the 2015 season opener. The second time came the next year, when Mason’s Vanderbilt team beat Brohm’s Western Kentucky team 31-30 when Vanderbilt stopped a two-point conversion in overtime. (You may also remember this as the game where I dunked on Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on Twitter for prematurely congratulating Western Kentucky on the win.)
So what happens in this game? I am guessing that there will be quite a few points, Ke’Shawn Vaughn runs for a couple of touchdowns, and this will of course be a tight game. And I’m picking Vanderbilt to win.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 35, Purdue 31
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Picking Vanderbilt technically counts, but fuck it, I’m taking Tulane (+17.5) over AUBURN.
This has to go better than our last trip to Indiana, right? We got out CFP Participant Game out of the way last week and now we get a trip to the Black and Gold Derby in that alternate reality where Vanderbilt became the 12th in the increasingly-inaccurately-named Big Ten back in 19dickety9 or whatever. Most of what I know about Purdue revolves around the spread era with Drew Brees, so I atavistically expect them to put the ball in the air quite a bit, I don’t know. My grandma lived on Purdue Road in Oak Ridge if that helps. Hopefully this is Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s “announce his presence with authority” game and our QBs get some time to stand around instead of running for their lives.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 38, Purdue 34
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Do we pick this stuff against the spread? Screw it, gimme Southern Mississippi over CLANGA. I’ve been re-reading The Courting of Marcus Dupree, and they are very adamant not to get on the bad side of USM.
Sunshine Pump powers activate! Ke’Shawn is gonna run all over these guys. Either Neal is going to come out firing in the first half, or Wallace will torch them in the second. Rondale Moore will probably find some joy, but the defense shows that they can do more than their fair share by mostly limiting him and the rest of the Purdue offense.
In all seriousness, I think Vanderbilt has a serious advantage (assuming Cochran and/or Young is back) at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We know how that looks from the other side. Pair an electric running back with that advantage up front, and the ground game could do a loooot of damage. Once that happens, the passing game will open up enough for Neal to assert control, or the Deuce will be loose after halftime. Neal is not necessarily playing for his job. He just needs to show that he can run the offense against a defense of Purdue’s caliber. They are not particularly bad, but they are at or slightly below the level of most defenses we will face this year.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 34, Purdue 17
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Arkansas is going to be beat Ole Miss in Oxford in one of the worst games between FBS teams that will occur all year. It will make Florida-Miami look like a masterclass. Auburn and Mississippi State may be thanking both for replacing that 2008 game as the worst game in SEC history.
Dores whoop the Boilermakers. Despite OL issues last weekend, Vandy protects Neal and more importantly gives Vaughn plenty of holes to run through. I suspect the Nashville Black and Gold to win Time of Possession with a solid ground game in the first half, making the Indiana Black and Gold throw early and often. The Vandy secondary won’t have trouble bracketing Moore, and forcing targets to unproven receivers.
The line is Purdue -7, with an O/U at 55.5. That’s a lot of confidence in a team that gave away a game at Nevada vs a team that gave up only 30 to the third best team in the country.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 34, Purdue 23
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Can I pick aTm as a dog over Clemson? Because Jimbo coached circles around Dabo every year but his last at FSU. He takes it personal that Dabo is considered at better HC even though he outsources play calling to coordinators. The line is 17.5, and no way Jimbo runs enough plays to let Clemson have the ball enough to score that much. So Aggies cover, if not outright stun Clemson off of ill timed turnovers.
Andrew VU ‘04
They’ve given all the reasons. I’ll go with emotion. We damn well better win this one, because we sure as hell aren’t beating LSU.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 23, Purdue 20
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: West Virginny over Missourah (spits).