By Russell Lorentz, Vandy Insider
Vanderbilt Game Preview
Vanderbilt Commodores (4-6, 0-6 SEC) vs. Missouri (5-5, 2-4 SEC)
Line: Missouri -8.5
When: Saturday, November 18th, 2017 – 6:30 p.m., SEC Network
Site: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville Tenn.
The Vanderbilt Commodores (4-6, 0-6 SEC) look to recreate the magic in their final two contests in 2017 as the ‘Dores eye a bowl berth, despite a rather disappointing season to this point. The Commodores rallied together two straight wins in route to a matchup with NC State in the Camping World Independence Bowl last season.
Drew Lock and Missouri’s hot offense come to Nashville as the Tigers (5-5, 2-4 SEC) look to secure a trip to a bowl game after a rough beginning to their season, with a 1-5 start.
The Commodores will recognize 20 seniors on Saturday, including: Ralph Webb, Jay Woods, Nifae Lealeo, Caleb Scott, Trent Sherfield, C.J Duncan, Ryan White, Emmanuel Smith, Tre’ Herndon, and Oren Burks.
The decorated 2013 senior class experienced multiple bowl trips under James Franklin, along with current Head Coach Derek Mason.
Ralph Webb leaves as Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher, (3,960) and has a chance to break into the top 10 in SEC history on Saturday, Webb sits 10th all-time. The senior already holds the school record for touchdowns (29) with Senior Day looming. Webb caps his regular season with a trip to Knoxville to face in-state rival Tennessee on Oct. 25.
How Vandy Wins:
- Feed Ralph Webb: Webb steps on Vanderbilt Stadium turf one last time as he looks for a memorable performance. Missouri surrenders 177.8 on the ground per game, god for 81st in the country.
- Defense: The Commodores need to hit their stride against a booming Missouri offense for bowl hopes in the final two game stretch recapturing magic from the conclusion of the 2016 season.
How Missouri Wins:
- Keep Vandy Guessing: Drew Lock leads the nation in passing touchdowns (35) while Ish Witter leads the charge for a revamped running attack.
- Keep Vandy Off Schedule: Vanderbilt is a run first team with Ralph Webb, using the pass as a byproduct despite renewed success through the air with a multitude of weapons as Wide Reciever Kalija Lipscomb leads the way. Keep Vandy from manageable third down distances offensively.