2019 Football Preview – SEC Conference – Vanderbilt Commodores
Looking for 2019 Vanderbilt Commodores predictions? After a second bowl appearance in three years, the Commodores will again struggle defensively while searching for NFL rookie Kyle Shurmur’s replacement. Shurmur, Vanderbilt’s most prolific passer, led the high-octane Commodores to the Texas Bowl last season before being drafted recently by the Kansas City Chiefs -Shurmur and Vandy were outdueled 45-38 in that postseason appearance by Baylor.
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2019 College Football Preview – Vanderbilt Commodores
Head Coach: Derek Mason
2018 Record: 6-7
Vanderbilt Commodores Odds to win the 2019 FBS Championship: +15000
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Overall, the Commodores finished 6-7 (3-5 SEC) in 2018. A season-finale win over Tennessee, basically a bowl game play-in, highlighted Vanderbilt’s 2018 run.
Luckily, for all their defensive setbacks, this season Vanderbilt is blessed with two arms capable of mitigating the above-mentioned Shurmur’s loss. Graduate transfer Riley Neal, who completed 60% of his passes and gained 7,393 yards in four seasons at Ball State, will compete with Duece Wallace for Vandy’s offensive helm. Due to experience, Neal figures to own the inside track and should take the reigns of a potent offensive engine.
Derek Mason has made Vanderbilt a viable opponent for any of the SEC East’s powerbrokers, losing four games last season by no more than a single touchdown. In fact, after scaring #8 Notre Dame in a 22-17 loss, the Commodore’s only clear setbacks came vs. South Carolina & Georgia.
2019 Vanderbilt Commodores Predictions: Team Strengths
Offense: Led by 1200-yard rusher Ke’Shawn Vaughn Vanderbilt returns a glut of offensive talent. Wide Reciever Kalija Lipscomb (87 catches, 916 yards, 9 touchdowns) and Tight End Jared Pinkney (50 catches, 774 yards, 7 touchdowns) join Vaughn to ease either Neal or Wallace’s lead signal-caller transition. Each of these standout SEC performers are pegged as future NFL prospects.
The one concern facing Vanderbilt’s offense, however, is that it must replace three starting offensive linemen from last season.
And Vandy must make said adjustments immediately as Georgia, Purdue and LSU loom as the Commodores’ first three opponents.
Still, having a lauded positional skill-set and experienced transfer QB at the ready is a major positive for a Vanderbilt squad which scored 28.5 ppg last year against the nation’s 20th toughest schedule.
If the offensive line clicks, look for Vanderbilt to perhaps put even more offensive pressure on its SEC foes. Also, keep an eye on Vaughn as his second half explosion in 2018 was elite level.
2019 Vanderbilt Commodores Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Defense: Unfortunately, for as talented as Vanderbilt’s offense is, by comparison their defense could potentially overshadow that positive.
After losing key contributors from a unit which ranked near last among all SEC teams in rushing yards allowed, third down stops and total yards allowed last year, this year’s defensive misgivings could become magnified.
An achilles heel all last season, simply, if Vandy can’t limit clock control and find third down stops against SEC opponents, they can’t scrounge together a winning record. And that rings true even for a team which boasts top-tier offensive pieces.
Vanderbilt Commodores Prediction: 5-7
Another tough schedule combined with defensive flaws, likely quarterback drop off and an incohesive offensive line will keep Vandy from earning consecutive bowl bids.
Further, jumping into the SEC cauldron so soon may well deflate Vanderbilt’s mid and late-season morale against comparable SEC teams.
Looking at the Commodores’ schedule, wins vs. NIU, Ole Miss, Eastern Tennessee State and UNLV are the only ‘givens’ on their docket. And a fourth-straight UT win could occur. But for the Dores to become bowl eligible an upset would need to happen vs. Missouri, Florida or Kentucky.
With so many liabilities and uncertainties, I’ll go with the under and place the 2019 Commodores at five wins.
2019 Vanderbilt Commodores Football Schedule
Date Time vs Score
- 8/31/19 7:30 PM ET UGA
- 9/7/19 TBD @PUR
- 9/21/19 TBD LSU
- 9/28/19 TBD NIU
- 10/5/19 TBD @MISS
- 10/12/19 TBD UNLV
- 10/19/19 TBD MIZZ
- 11/2/19 TBD @SOCAR
- 11/9/19 TBD @FLA
- 11/16/19 TBD UK
- 11/23/19 TBD ETSU
- 11/30/19 TBD @TENN
What do you think about our 2019 Vanderbilt Commodores predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2019!
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