After picking up their first SEC win of the season by beating the Arkansas Razorbacks 45-31, the Vanderbilt Commodores will look to regroup during their much-needed bye week. Entering the bye week with a record of 4-5, the Commodores will look to close the season strongly by becoming bowl-eligible.
Getting to full-strength
Going through a grueling schedule, team’s expect to take some bumps and bruises, as the Commodores have seen their fair share of injuries. However, now in the bye week, head coach Derek Mason said his team is healthy and ready to go for the Missouri Tigers next week.
Mason on team’s status during bye week.
Health played a big factor in the Commodores win against the Razorbacks, as they were able to run-wild all over the Razorbacks defense. That was largely in part due to the effort by Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
"(Ke'Shawn Vaughn) really reminds me of Ezekiel Elliott." –@CoachDerekMason #SECFilmRoom: @VandyFootball | Tonight 7:30 PM/ET pic.twitter.com/POdQiJuOG7
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 31, 2018
Vaughn, who missed the team’s game against the Kentucky Wildcats, is the Commodores leading rusher. Vaughn ran for 172 yards and punched in three touchdowns on the ground.
Mason on Vaughn’s effect on the offense.
The road ahead
11/10 @Missouri Tigers
11/17 vs. Mississippi Rebels
11/24 vs. Tennessee Volunteers
With just three games remaining, the Commodores have some work to due in order to ensure a bowl-game appearance. All three games appear to be winnable games for the Commodores. However they will need to play like they did against the Razorbacks to continue their winning ways.
The bye week helps the Commodores in maintaining their health ahead of their matchup with Missouri. To the Commodores benefit, the Tigers have already had there bye and won’t be as rested as the Commodores.
With that being said, the Commodores haven’t been consistent enough this season to say they will make a bowl appearance. Vanderbilt’s bowl hopes may be in the hands of their defense, as they face two pass-heavy offenses, Missouri and Ole Miss, in back-to-back weeks.
Going against prolific offenses, Vanderbilt’s offense of their own will have to produce. The remaining schedule for the Commodores possesses potential shootouts. And if that’s the case, it’s tough to project the Commodores punching their ticket to a bowl.
The Commodores will look to see how beneficial their bye week was, as they continue to prepare for Missouri. The Commodores will travel to Missouri on 11/10, with kickoff set for noon.