The Vanderbilt Commodores (2-6 will against look for their first SEC win of the season on Saturday as they welcome the Missouri Tigers (3-4) to Nashville. Here are the three keys to a Commodore win.
By Steve Wright
1 – Generate some offense
It doesn’t matter if it is Ken Seals – who is listed as either day-to-day or week-to-week depending on where you look – or Mike Wright, the Commodores simply need more from the quarterback position. The ‘Dores are last nationally in scoring offense at 13.2 points per game and the decision-making at the quarterback position has been brutal. This is a game where Vandy should score points. Mizzou has allowed over 275 yards or more on the ground in five of its last six and the Commodores will think they can extend that run.
2 – Win on third down
As bad as the Vanderbilt offense is – and it is really, really bad – the Commodores will think they have a chance to move the ball against a Mizzou team that doesn’t do much of anything defensively. The Tigers are second to last in the nation against the run, they are last in the SEC in total defense, and the combination of mental breakdowns and missed assignments are hard to watch. Third down is a massive problem as opposing offenses are converting at a rate of almost 50%. If the Commodores can win on third down and keep the chains moving then they will stay in this game.
3 – Generate turnovers
One of the problems for Mizzou as of late has been the decision-making of quarterback Connor Bazelak. Bazelak is clearly a talent and he has the ability to sling the ball around the field, but some of his options as of late have been poor. Bazelak has thrown six interceptions in his last three games against Power Five opponents and the Commodores’ secondary will have to be ready to pounce on his mistakes to generate positive field positions for the offense.