Vandy’s offense will determine their outcome against Mizzou football, but they haven’t lived up to the hype so far in 2019.
This Saturday, Mizzou football gets one of the few easy games on the SEC schedule. However, that does not make their upcoming game against Vanderbilt a guaranteed win. Just ask Georgia about guaranteed wins.
Going into this season, Vanderbilt was thought to have a great offense. It wasn’t going to compete with the Alabamas of the conference, but it was expected to be one of the best that the Commodores have seen in a long time. They lost their starting quarterback, but they returned Ke’Shawn Vaughn at running back, Kalija Lipscomb at receiver, and Jared Pinkney at tight end. With all that talent coming back, issues at quarterback were expected to be minimized. In real life, that just hasn’t been the case. Despite all of this talent, the Commodores have only scored 18 points a game, one of the worst in the country.
So, why have they struggled so much on offense? Part of it is because of the quarterback change. To put it simply, Riley Neal has just not gotten the job done. He’s inaccurate, lacks a big arm, and he isn’t mobile enough to make up for it. Teams are basically focusing on how to stop Vaughn, and it’s worked for the first half of the regular season.
With teams stacking the box, Vaughn hasn’t emerged as the prospect many thought he could be. Some even considered him the best running back in the SEC going into the season. He hasn’t been close to that in reality.
In terms of the receivers, Neal’s struggles have translated. Kyle Shurmur was not perfect by any means, but he’s better than any current option.
Another issue with Vanderbilt’s offense has been the injuries. Both Vaughn and Lipscomb suffered injuries in their last game. We’ll have to see if that affects either their availability or ability against the Tigers.
In terms of this game, Missouri seems to have an advantage in many ways. You don’t want to pencil in any win, but it would be crippling if the Tigers found a way to lose to Vanderbilt. They will likely use this game as an opportunity to improve as opposed to a test against a strong opponent. This is their first week at the top of the SEC East, and I think they’ll see another after beating the Commodores.
It will be fun to watch, but I don’t think this game gets too intriguing by the end of the first half. Expect the Tigers to win convincingly.