Vanderbilt has had a bumpy season so far, starting off the season losing two of their first three with their only win coming from a 47-24 victory over Middle Tennessee. The Hilltoppers on the other hand, have been looking to impress for the last few years and appear to get better as time passes. This season, WKU has started off winning two of their first three with victories over Rice and Miami (OH), while giving Alabama a run for their money. This Saturday, the two teams will be looking to improve on their record by pulling one over on the opposition.
For Vanderbilt, this is a must win situation. The future of the Commodores will be highly uncertain if they don’t manage to pass WKU. Beyond this weekend the team goes right into the thick of their schedule with Florida, LSU, UGA, and Ole Miss all coming up in the following weeks. To get the win, it will be important for them to score quickly and often. Which may be a challenge against a defense that made Alabama look questionable against them. Furthermore, WKU will have home field advantage with a home crowd that will look to do all that they can to confuse Vanderbilt’s offense. As previously stated, some quick scoring on Vanderbilt’s side will greatly ease the intensity of the fans.
Additionally, the Commodores will need to play like the big SEC school that they are and win in the trenches. They have mules upfront who will have to move the stout Hilltopper linemen around in order to get things going on both sides of the ball. If they can do so on offense, they give Ralph Webb an opening to show everyone why he is the SEC’s top rusher.
Finally, Vandy will need to show up on defense. They have only managed to obtain two sacks in three games and they will need to improve on that record in order to have success against WKU. Jeff Brohm is going to pull out a few tricky plays that he has cooked up, as he usually does, and Vanderbilt can’t be fooled. The Hilltoppers love big plays and if Vandy shows even the slightest bit of hesitation, WKU will capitalize.
Overall, it will be interesting to see if Vanderbilt can turn the season around against the strong Western Kentucky program and balance themselves out. If they can manage to do so then the rest of the season may have a little more light then previously imagined.
Game Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
Odds: WKU opened as an 7.5-point favorite. The line moved up to 8 in most locations.