The Vanderbilt Commodores host Missouri on Saturday night at Vanderbilt Stadium. Here are your three keys to a Commodore victory.
1) LOCK DOWN ON LOCK
Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is making a case for being among the best signal callers in the SEC. So far this season Lock has completed 189-of-318 passes for 3,012 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He averages just over 300 yards and three touchdowns passing per game. If Vandy is to be successful they need to limit him to about 210 yards and one touchdown reception. Lock is one of those mobile QBs that Vandy has had problems with in the past. The Dores will need to keep a man on him at all times while the secondary provides solid coverage.
2) ELIMINATE DUMB PLAYS
Vandy was messy against Kentucky giving up two big plays in special teams and several turnovers. Vandy needs to get back to playing the clean ball they played in the first three games. No blunders on special teams. We know that Kyle Shurmur can play a lot better than he did against Kentucky last week. Some of those interceptions weren't his fault. Vandy needs to play smart. These personal fouls we keep seeing are troubling, especially in third and long situations. If players can't follow the rules then sit their butts on the bench and let them watch. Dumb plays can also be continuing to run it up the gut when it isn't there. That's on the coaches.
3) STOP THE RUN
Missouri is paced by its fine quarterback Lock, however, the Tigers also have a strong rushing attack. Over the past two games against Florida and Tennessee the Tigers have gained over 650 yards combined rushing the ball (433 against UT). Vandy needs to hold Mizzou to no more than 175 yards rushing. The 'Dore defense also needs to get back in the business of contesting each and every inch of turf. This protecting against long gains but giving up 8 to 12 yards chunks of yardage is not working. Take a chance on getting burned and force some punts.
Dress warmly if you are coming on Saturday as the temperature will be in the mid 30s late in the game. The game kicks off at 6:30 pm CT and can be seen on the SEC Network.