The Vanderbilt Commodores sit at 2-6 overall, and 0-4 in the SEC. And this Saturday might be the last real opportunity to avoid going winless in the SEC for the second year in a row.
And it would be the third year in a row if not for the last time the Missouri Tigers came to Nashville. That game, two years ago, saw a Vanderbilt team fresh off a 34-10 loss to UNLV scrape together a 21-14 win over Missouri for its only SEC win of 2019. Walk-on Mo Hasan got the start at quarterback for the Commodores in that game, had to leave after getting a concussion, and Riley Neal (in one of his few good moments at Vanderbilt) threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass in relief of Hasan to secure the win.
So, after this week, Vanderbilt has a bye week before hosting Kentucky (#12 in the most recent AP poll), then closes the season with trips to Ole Miss and Tennessee. In other words, if Vanderbilt is going to get an SEC win, it’s going to be this week (insert gag about this not counting as an SEC win either way.)
What say the writers?
Vanderbilt’s offense this season is averaging 3.0 yards for every rushing attempt. Missouri’s defense is giving up 6.2 yards per rushing attempt.
In other words... something has to give here.
Missouri’s offense, to be sure, can score points. They’re averaging 34.4 ppg this season, and even in three SEC games (all losses), they’re averaging 22 ppg, dragged down by scoring just 14 against Texas A&M two weekends ago. They also feature one of the country’s worst defenses, giving up an average of 37.1 ppg. The problem, of course, is that Vanderbilt has to score points and they haven’t even done that against the bad defenses they’ve faced: UConn is giving up almost as many points per game as Missouri (and against a much worse schedule), and Vanderbilt could only manage 30 points in that game.
Is it possible for Vanderbilt to win this game? Sure, but I don’t know that I like the idea of us outscoring an offense that can score points, even if said offense is paired with an abjectly terrible defense.
The Pick: Missouri 28, Vanderbilt 24
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: There isn’t one if we’re going off point spreads, but I do like MISSISSIPPI STATE (pick ‘em) to pull off what would be an upset according to the AP Poll. I realize this is cheating, but I like the favorites in the other matchups this week.
Andrew VU ‘04
The Dores who showed up for the 1st 58:30 against the Game Penises likely win this SEC-Big XII showdown, but do the ones who welcomed Clanga? Far too many variables in this one. Will Ken “Loose” Seals return from injury? If so, will he be game-ready? If not, which Mike Wright do we get? Beyond that, which Missourah (spits) team will show up? The one who narrowly lost to a really good Kentucky team, or the one who narrowly beat a woebegone North Texas squad (or even the one that got boat-raced by the Chuggers)? Both teams suck, but they do have a few pros on their roster, especially at defensive end. Ah hell, we’re not getting an SEC or Big XII victory in this, the Zero-iest of Year Zeros. We’ll cover, though.
The Pick: Missourah (spits) 27 - Vanderbilt 20
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Give me The Ackbars over The Barns. Ole Piss pulls a slight upset here in a game that has more offense than War Tiger fans might want.
Is the clown show still running the offensive game plan? Yes? Oh, okay. I have no idea what is about to happen. Will they stumble onto a way to use Wright's athleticism and arm strength to create explosive plays OR will they make him do things he is not good at all game? Spin the wheel and find out!
I was wrong about the defense last week. This isn't the air raid exposing every player without speed on defense. I will re-up my bet on them. The offensive uncertainty is too much to overcome though.
Maybe Moussa should start since Vanderbilt's 2019 win over Missouri was with a third string QB wearing #18 starting.
The Pick: Missourah 24, Vanderbilt 20
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I don't see any, but I could see Georgia doing as they do and losing to Florida.
I was the only writer on staff to pick Vandy to win a few weeks ago against USC, so I’ll remain consistent in my childlike hope and say the ‘Dores pull off the win against Mizzou on Saturday. You’ll notice that this is inconsistent with my gambling pick earlier in the week, but my rule of thumb is that you bet with your head, and pick with your heart. Let’s just say I’m ready for my heart to break once more on Saturday.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 27, Mizzou 23
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Not much to choose from. Bulldogs beat the Cats at home.