Two Southeastern Conference foes look to build off conference wins when they square off against each other Saturday. Both Missouri and Vanderbilt picked up their first conference win their last time on the field.
For much of the season, a conference win was elusive for Missouri. Two weeks ago they took Kentucky to the final play of the game before a Terry Wilson touchdown pass defeated the Tigers. Earlier in the season, they fell by two points against South Carolina.
Drew Lock is among the elite. pic.twitter.com/zrCEr1Pn4M
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 3, 2018
However, last week everything clicked for Missouri. They rolled into the Swamp and dominated the Gators from start to finish. Potential first-round pick, Drew Locke, was 24-32 for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. Locke was aided by the return of standout wide receiver Emanuel Hall. Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason knows Hall demands a lot of respect on the field.
“He’s one of the most explosive receivers in the conference,” Mason said. “To have your best weapon back on the outside probably gave Missouri the versatility that they needed.”
Interesting stat about Emanuel Hall: Despite missing half of Missouri’s games, sitting out two quarters against Purdue and failing to record a catch against Georgia, Hall is still the Tigers’ leading receiver with 430 yards. (Albert O is second with 420.)
— Daniel Jones (@daniel_m_jones) October 31, 2018
Hall has had a tumultuous season. He missed six games this season because of his father passing away and a groin injury. He made his presence known with 4 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Vanderbilt is not the only team looking to build off their first conference win of the season. Two weeks ago Vanderbilt picked up their first win in conference play over Arkansas, 45-31. Last week they had a bye so they are ready to line up against another team.
OL Bruno Reagan on the Vanderbilt team vibe after the bye week: "Bye weeks are good. Wins after bye weeks are great."
— Zac Ellis (@ZacEllisVU) November 6, 2018
“We look forward to the opportunity that is Missouri this week. We are facing a great football team,” Mason said. “They have a headliner in Drew Lock. We are excited for the opportunity to head to Columbia.”
The opportunity is a big one for the Commodores as they are looking to secure bowl eligibility. To do so they will have to finish their season winning two of their reaming three games against Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
One reason Vanderbilt has been able to put themselves in a position to become bowl eligible is their ability to get takeaways. Vanderbilt ranks fourth in the SEC in turnovers and has scored 38 points off turnovers in their last three games.
Transfer running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn is another reason for Vandy’s success. Missouri head coach Barry Odom knows he presents a huge threat on Saturday.
“You look through the stats and watch the tape, he’s very impressive,” Odom said. “He’s explosive and he leads the league in yards per carry. He’s dangerous in every area.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 31, 2018
Kickoff between the Tigers and Commodores is set for Saturday at noon on SEC Network.