Three matchups to watch: Missouri


Bosley Jarrett

Vanderbilt defeats Missouri 10-3 at Dudley Field on October 24, 2015.

Josh Hansan

A week after a last-minute loss to ninth-ranked Auburn, Vanderbilt gears up for its final road game of the season as it travels to Columbia to take on the Missouri Tigers. Here are the three matchups to watch this week as the ‘Dores look to get their second SEC win of the season.

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock vs. Vanderbilt Secondary

Despite being one of the most seasoned quarterbacks in the SEC, sophomore Drew Lock has not been able to translate his experience into wins. The Tigers sit at 2-7 and are winless in the SEC. Despite that, the second-year quarterback ranks second in the SEC with 2,517 passing yards coming into the Vanderbilt game. Lock’s main problem is that his success has only come against weak non-conference opponents. With little run game to turn to, Missouri will be forced to air the ball out against a secondary that has looked weak at times.  

Vanderbilt offensive line vs. Missouri defensive line

After four straight losses, head coach Barry Odom relieved DeMontie Cross of play-calling abilities shortly before the South Carolina game and will serve as the defensive coordinator for the remainder of the season. If the Tigers are going to have any success, Odom’s defensive line must penetrate a Vanderbilt front that allowed just one sack late in the game vs. Auburn.

November Andy Ludwig vs. September Andy Ludwig

Against South Carolina in the season opener, Kyle Shurmur threw for just 72 yards en route to a 13-10 defeat. In that game, the Commodores only managed to get to the red zone twice and only converted 10 first downs. Against a much better Auburn team, Vanderbilt managed 22 first downs, with Shurmur completing 24 passes to 10 different receivers. If offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig can continue to get the ball on the edges to players like Darrius Sims and Kalija Lipscomb, the Commodores have an opportunity to feast on a Tiger defense that has given up at least 31 points in each of its last five games.