This week the Commodores take on a team from the not so great state of Mississippi for the second week in a row.
Vanderbilt is coming off a blowout loss at the hands of Ole Miss while Mississippi State is fresh off of a beatdown suffered at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Mike Leach will be looking to get his air raid offense back on track against a Vanderbilt defense that has allowed 41, 41, and 54 points in their last 3 games.
Vanderbilt is a 19 point underdog with an over/under of 45 this week.
These two teams are desperate for a win, and Mississippi State will likely be starting a Freshman QB to duel with Ken Seals. Let’s see what The Dore Report staff sees happening this Saturday.
Mike Leach and Mississippi State have struggeled since their 44 point performance against the defending national champions in week 1. The Commodore’s offense has struggled since opening kickoff of week 1. Even with Mississippi State starting a Freshman and losing Kylin Hill for the rest of the season as he prepares for the NFL draft, I still see Mississippi State putting significant points on the board.
I think the Commodores are able to force some turnovers, but ultimately struggle against the air raid attack. The offense, knowing they are playing a struggling opponent, is too conservative and is unable to move the ball consistently, leading to a loss for Derek Mason and staff.
Ken Seals looks even better than the Ole Miss performance but Vandy is a couple steps behind Mike Leach’s offense throughout the game. Baby steps forward.
Like Vandy, Mississippi State’s season started with promise. Quarterback KJ Costello’s record-setting day powered his team over the defending national champion LSU in the opener. Of course, at that point we didn’t know just how far LSU had fallen. In that game, Costello threw for 623 yards and 5 touchdowns. In the four games since, his play has declined considerably, barely passing his yardage from the first game (660) with 1 touchdown and 8 interceptions. In that stretch, Costello was benched twice (against Kentucky and Texas A&M) and knocked out of this past game against Alabama with a head injury leaving his status for this game uncertain. Indications are freshman Will Rogers will likely make his first start. Bulldog fans are hoping he can jumpstart an anemic offense has looked just as bad as Vanderbilt’s in the past four games, with three offensive touchdowns in that span. In addition, All-SEC running back Kylin Hill just opted out of the remainder of the season to focus on the draft after having a significantly diminished role in Leach’s “air raid” offense. Maybe the Commodore defense can hold them to under 41 points, something they’ve failed to do their last three games. Mississippi State has good defense, especially against the pass. They are second in the conference in fewest yards given up and first in fewest passing yards. Seals and the offense will have their work cut out.
On paper, this is probably the best chance remaining for Vandy to get a win. Mississippi State is reeling from four straight losses, with a freshman quarterback making his first start. Unfortunately, I see the Dores battling for a while with the Bulldogs pulling away late.
If not now, then I don’t know when. Despite coming off of an ugly loss to Ole Miss, the Commodores face what is probably their best chance for a W in 2020 on Saturday. Mississippi St’s offense has been absolutely bottled up after it’s exciting week 1 win over LSU and they’ll turn to freshman QB Will Rogers this Saturday. On the other hand, Vandy’s freshman QB Ken Seals seems to gain more confidence and control of the offense each week. He’ll need to be complemented by a strong run game led by Keyon Henry-Brooks, who had himself a decent game vs Ole Miss. If the Commodores can follow the proven formula to beat MSU (which includes dropping 8 into zone coverage and rushing 3 on defense), then the Commodores have a chance at a W Saturday. My pick? 21-17 Vandy
Two Freshmen Quarterbacks will lead their teams out on the field tomorrow in Starkville with a disappointing start to the 2020 College Football Season. The Commodores find themselves in a huge hole and looking for an identity on defense to give the Offense a change to compete in just one game. Is this too much to ask for? We’ll see. Mississippi State will feature QB Will Rogers who will be making his first career start on Saturday vs Vanderbilt. The Commodore defense must put presser on the young buck and force him to make bad decisions including some turnovers. Offensively, Vanderbilt must establish the run early and take shots with play action. The Commodores have to be smart and keep the field position battle in their favor to keep this game competitive. This will be a much better matchup this week vs the Bulldogs than lasts week throttle from Lane Kiffin’s Rebels. The Question is can Vanderbilt stick around steal one on the road tomorrow afternoon?? Ken Seals Vs Will Rogers. In Starkvegas, 2:30 CT Time. SEC Network. Call me crazy Vandy fans
To put it plainly, Mississippi State has not been good this year, and now they’re throwing a Freshman QB into the mix. Vanderbilt has also struggled mightily, especially on the defensive end. Both teams suffered huge losses last week, and are both looking to bounce back. I think Vanderbilt plays their best game of the season Saturday, and Derek Mason and his squad pick up their first win of the season. If the Dores can manage to not let Will Rogers throw for 4 touchdowns, I think they have this game in the bag. To me, this is the closest matchup Vanderbilt has faced this season, and i don’t think they’ll let it go to waste.
The Dore Report
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As always, Anchor Down