The Dore Report offering up their predictions week by week throughout the season, starting with Week 1: #10 Texas A&M.
Texas A&M comes in heavily favored at home, -30.5 according to most books. Over/Under set at 46. Meaning Vegas expects the game to end around Texas A&M 38 Vanderbilt 8 Some of our staff is more optimistic while some are, let’s say, less optimistic.
Let’s get right into it.
I want to preface this prediction by saying I hope to be proven completely wrong and look like I have no clue what I am talking about on Sunday morning. With that being said, I don’t see a scenario where this game is ever in doubt for Texas A&M. The Aggies are extremely talented and deep, even with some key players opting out. Freshman Ken Seals looks like a Freshman week 1. Makes some good plays, makes some eh plays, and makes some bad plays. The Offensive Line is unable to open up running holes consistently and it feels like Ken Seals is running for his life on nearly every play. The defense plays well early, but under new Offensive Coordinator Todd Fitch there are ultimately too many 3 and outs resulting in a gassed defense toward the end of the game. Texas A&M only holds a 2-3 score lead going into the fourth quarter thanks to some turnovers forced by the defense. A&M ultimately scores one or two more times in the fourth leading to a final scoreboard that does not look good for the gritty Commodores.
Defense holds their own for 3 quarters, but they ultimately become gasses due to being on the field for extended possessions. Seals looks good in his debut, but he felt pressure on nearly every snap.
On paper, there isn’t a lot to like about this matchup. While Texas A&M is returning the most experienced quarterback in the conference in Kellen Mond, all signs are pointing to Vandy starting a true freshman (Seals). If so, he will be making his college debut behind an offensive line decimated in the offseason, on the road against a top 10 opponent. Hopes are riding with the defense, but unfortunately with the limited offseason this wasn’t the ideal year to bring in two brand new coordinators. I think Fitch and Roof may turn out to be great hires as they have time to incorporate their systems, but it’s too early to see it in this one. It will be a rough start to the season for the Commodores, but hopefully the experience will help some of the younger players grow up quickly and serve the team well heading into the gauntlet to come.
Vandy’s Defense is up for the challenge, giving up only 7 points in the first quarter and a half. 2 late touchdowns by Texas A&M deflates the young commodore squad, trailing 21-3 at halftime. Unfortunately, due to a lackluster offensive line play, the Seals can’t quite find a rhythm. Multiple 3 and outs wears on the defense and the game gets away from us.
Analysis: I think fans will be surprised to see big improvements in the offense’s ability to move the ball compared to last year, even with a shaky o-line and freshman QB. We’ll see flashes from true freshman QB Ken Seals and, if we can shore up the o-line, there will be offensive hope for this season. The defense will keep it close until fatigue sets in at the end of the ball game and they will force a turnover or two. TAMU pulls away late.
First week into an off season filled with COVID and racial injustice serves for a slow and sloppy performance early on from both teams. The Commodores veteran defense keeps Vandy somewhat in the game for the 1st half with a deficit of 17-6 including two Pierson Cooke FG’s. The A&M offense eventually finds a grove and runs away with this one in the 2nd half. Mond passes for 2 TD’s and rushes for a TD. Freshman QB Ken Seals throws his first career TD late for the Commodores. Overall a sloppy performance from the Commodores.
This will be a very low scoring game, both teams without offensive weapons, but strong and experienced defenses. Vandy will struggle lots on offense with the true freshman Ken Seals at QB, but the defense shows how they’re made and slows down the TAMU offense enough to keep it close.
I’ve got the Commodores coming out swinging, but succumbing to the swarming A&M defense. Inexperience at QB, gaps on offense and defense, and a sub-par offensive line are taken advantage of by Coach Fisher’s squad. I think the Aggies go up three possessions by the half, but Vandy ends up squandering some points. Aggies win big, but the Dores show potential.
Well, it’s a clean sweep. The staff here at The Dore Report picks Texas A&M to handle business on Saturday (8-0). Based on the average of all the score predictions The Dore Report believes the final score will be, drum roll please:
Predictions are fine but we will find out tomorrow. Don’t worry, everyone on the staff hopes to start out the season 0-1 with their predictions. As always, Anchor Down!