After defeating Arkansas in high-scoring fashion, Vanderbilt is 4-5 on the season and two wins away from bowl eligibility. With three games left, the ‘Dores will have to “anchor down” and close out the season strong in order to qualify for postseason play.
Vanderbilt’s final three opponents include a road trip to Missouri and back-to-back home games against Ole Miss and Tennessee. Given what we saw from them against the Razorbacks, the Commodores are in position to win at least six games on the season.
I have no faith in Missouri following its loss to Kentucky. The Tigers led the Wildcats 14-3, yet managed to lose the game in the final seconds. Such a loss is inexcusable given the team’s quarterback, Drew Lock, is considered an NFL prospect.
Should Vanderbilt get off to a fast start offensively, a win over Missouri is realistic. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur (1,845 passing yards) and wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb (588 receiving yards) both rank in the top five within the SEC in yardage at their respective positions.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 33, Missouri 31
Vs. Ole Miss
Mississippi’s high powered offense fell flat in their last game against Auburn, losing 31-16. However, the Rebels have scored 47, 76, 38, 70, and 37 points in their wins. Obviously, their offense is impressive, and unlike Missouri, Ole Miss can actually close out games.
While Vanderbilt’s offense has the potential to keep, Ole Miss’ offense is too explosive and dynamic to deal with.
Prediction: Ole Miss 31, Vanderbilt 17
Isn’t it poetic that it all comes down to the Tennessee game?
The Vols are 0-2 since their impressive win at Auburn, dropping games to Alabama and South Carolina. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is more competent than Butch Jones and will likely have his team prepared, meaning the Vols won’t be a pushover like they’ve been the past two meetings.
While Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has improved throughout the season, the loss of offensive lineman Trey Smith is a devastating blow for an already struggling Volunteer offensive line. While Smith hasn’t technically been ruled out for the season, I don’t see him playing against Vandy.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 27, Tennessee 23