Vanderbilt has three offensive weapons it will try to get going against Mizzou football this weekend.
The Mizzou football team is ranked for the first time this season, and the Tigers will take that No. 22 ranking on the road this week for just the second time.
Mizzou faces Vanderbilt, one of the bottom teams in the SEC, in its first conference road game of the year.
The Commodores have struggled this season, that is an understatement. But Vanderbilt still has three offensive weapon who could threaten even one of the best defenses in the SEC.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Kalija Lipscomb and Jared Pinkney all offer enough juice to strike at any point during this game. Mizzou football must be ready, and it sounds like the Tigers are.
Here’s a look at Vanderbilt:
The Commodores entered the season with expectations that they could have some of the best offensive weapons in the SEC. That has not been the case, but they still offer that potential.
Vanderbilt graduated Kyle Shurmur and replaced him with Riley Neal, who hasn’t gotten the job done.
Neal has thrown for 1,102 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions at a 59.2 completion percentage. His top receiver, Lipscomb, hasn’t gotten off to a great start numbers wise.
Missouri Tigers Football
Lipscomb has 30 receptions for 337 yards, but his two TDs are far behind the pace Vanderbilt wants. He had nine last season.
To pair with Lipscomb is tight end Pinkney. Mizzou arguably has the best tight end in the country in Albert Okwuegbunam. That argument is countered with Pinkney. But in six games, he has just 13 receptions for 143 yards and has not gotten into the end zone.
Meanwhile, running back Vaughn has had his moments, but wins haven’t come along with them.
Vaughn has 607 yards on 102 carries for a 6.0 average. He also has 17 receptions for 143 yards as well. Vaughn has five touchdowns on the season.
It was asked last month, are the big three being underused? Will this be the week they have some success? That’s unlikely.
Mizzou is the best defense Vandy has faced up to this point. Mizzou shouldn’t have trouble stopping this Commodores offense. They are ranked 109th in yards per play, so it just hasn’t been the year people expected. They’ve had some injuries, so that is part of the problem.
On defense, the Commodores have struggled getting to the quarterback. They have eight sacks on the season, with only linebackers Andre Mintze and Elijah McAllister having multiple. That’s good news for Mizzou QB Kelly Bryant.
Sacks are low, so are turnovers. Vandy has just four on the year, with two INTs and two fumble recoveries.
This defense currently is ranked 124th in the FBS, and average giving up 7.2 yards per play. Mizzou has a balanced offense, and the Tigers can use that attack to get the ball down field either on the ground or through the air.
Bryant is playing his best football right now, it appears. Coach Barry Odom said he’s having his best practices, and last week against Ole Miss, Bryant tossed a career-high 423 yards. Vanderbilt offers an opportunity for the senior to produce those kind of numbers again while improving as a passer.
Brendon Harris and Dashaun Jerkins give Vandy some tacklers in the secondary while Allan George and Randall Haynie are the better cover guys, but they just haven’t been opportunistic. Mizzou should take advantage of its opportunity to pick up a road win in the SEC and keep its top standing in the SEC East.
It’s the first of three road games in a row for Mizzou.