They call Thanksgiving weekend “Rivalry Week” and this is why Vanderbilt is playing Missouri.
That’s right: the SEC, in its infinite wisdom, took Tennessee off Vanderbilt’s schedule this week (rumor has it the game will be played December 12, though this hasn’t been confirmed) and replaced them with Missouri, a team that we don’t consider a rival at all. We don’t even recognize them, in fact. So what do our writers think will happen on Saturday? Let’s find out!
Do I believe Vanderbilt has been playing better over the last few weeks? Sure, though no, I don’t buy Richard Johnson’s take that giving up 38 points to Florida constituted a good performance for the defense.
Do I believe that’s going to be enough to beat Missouri? Eh, not really. I still think the Ken Seals offense hasn’t been completely unleashed, similar to the Kyle Shurmur-led offense circa 2016, and until that happens, Vanderbilt is going to be hard-pressed to outscore other teams. And that’s what they’re going to have to do, because the defense isn’t getting any better, not when one of its starting linebackers is leaving the team in the middle of the season. Seriously, what the hell?
The Pick: Missouri 38, Vanderbilt 26
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Ah, hell, let’s get weird. Give me Auburn (+24.5) in the Iron Bowl.
The good news is that the offense-defense matchup is advantageous to Vanderbilt’s strengths. The bad news is that our offense probably isn’t good enough for that to make much of a difference. What I expect to see are some really nice plays being made on offense but a lot of sputtering in between them, which is pretty typical of our offense this year. That, of course, isn’t surprising with a freshman QB, an offensive line that has played well over its head but is still patched together, and the fact that we rarely play with leads. The game is winnable, but in spite of a pretty decent performance at Florida, I still don’t trust the defense. I think Missouri wins, but it’s a tight one, and certainly tighter than the 20 point spread.
The Pick: Missouri 28, Vandy 24.
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Did the Gators show a little chink in their armor last week? I’m thinking Kentucky covers the 23 on that one.
*Andrew VU ‘04’s note: It’s not “who will cover of the week,” Stanimal. It’s an “Upset Pick.” I am so dissapointed.
Andrew VU ‘04
We’re going to lose this game. We’re going to go 0-10 this year.
Now that that’s out of the way, there is one actual reason to get fired up for this game. Vanderbilt is about to have the first female kicker suit up since Kathy Ireland played for the Texas State University Fightin’ Armadillos.
That’s right, Sarah Fuller, the goalkeeper for the SEC Champion Vanderbilt Commodores Women’s Soccer team (hat tip to DoreonthePlains for covering their charmed season this year on this very website) will go from keeping soccer balls out of the net to kicking feetballs through the uprights, and ladies, I am here for it.
Just look how joyful she is here.
Someone should get to ring some joy from this godawful season, con sarn it, and I’m glad it’s one of ours.
The Pick: Missouri 27, Vanderbilt 18 (all field goals!!!)
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Give me the other SEC team over the other Big XII team. That’s right, DACOACHO and the Gumbo Bengals are going to make Jimbo and aTm’s National Title aspirations go aTm.
Vanderbilt’s last game against Missouri was the debut of walk-on QB Mo Hasan. Anyone else remember how that game ended? Well, Vanderbilt is debuting a new player in Sarah Fuller this Saturday in CoMo. Damn it, I am going to predict a win. Why? Because I can and want to do so.
Ken Seals has been on fire. Chris Pierce is making grown ass man plays. Keyon-Henry Brooks might be back. Ja’Veon Marlow should be better after playing for the first time in 4 weeks last week. Cam Johnson is still making a lot of short catches. Amir Abdur-Rahman is trouble on the sidelines. We are not talking about the defense.
The Pick: Missouri 24, Vanderbilt 27 (Yes, we win on a late FG.)
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Besides us, I am going full homer for the week. War. Damn. Eagle. Saban is out. The Crimson Tide fall apart without their leader. #BoKnows