Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Army Black Knights
The Vanderbilt Commodores and the Army Black Knights meet in an out of conference college football game on Saturday in Nashville. The Commodores are -9 point favorites over the Black Knights with an over/under point total set at 55.
The Vanderbilt Commodores have lost three games in a row but James Franklin’s team has been competitive and has played hard. While the expectations for Larry Smith were fairly high this season, he has been mostly a disappointment and last week’s 24 yards passing and two interceptions is more what has come to be expected and while we see more and more of Jordan Rogers, his four for 19 performance against Georgia did nothing to make us more confident in him. Zac Stacy has been the bright spot for the Vandy offense filling in for Warren Norman who when healthy is one of the top running backs in the nation. Jonathan Krause has 20 catches and Wesley Tate looks to have big play ability. The bright spot and the unit that keeps Vandy in football games has been their defense as Casey Hayward has five interceptions and Trey Wilson has three. Chris Marve has 46 tackles and Chase Garnham has 42 and if Vanderbilt is going to a bowl game this season it will be the defense that leads them there.
The Army Black Knights went to a bowl game last season but they have some work to do if Rich Ellerson’s team is going to go bowling once again. At the end of last year QB Trent Steelman looked to be coming into his own but while he’s running the option, he is still too one dimensional to be overly successful. Stellman has two touchdown passes and two interceptions but he’s completed just 19 passes all year though he has rushed for 536 yards and 11 touchdowns. When it isn’t Steelman it’s been Raymond Maples who has 534 yards and four touchdowns and Malcolm Brown with 325 yards and a score. Army has been “win one, lose one” their last four games with there being no real pattern with close games and blowouts going either way. Steve Erzinger is one of the top tacklers in the nation with 64, three of those sacks, and Andrew Rodriguez has two fumble recoveries.
Vanderbilt is 4-0 against the spread in their last four home games, 1-4 against the spread against a team with a losing record, and 1-7 against the spread following a loss. Army is 4-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games, and 9-19-1 in their last 29 games as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points.
Vanderbilt is a lousy cover team as a favorite and Army doesn’t have much of a pattern either way but with the competition Vandy faces each week in the SEC this should be much easier competition for them. I don’t love the number but give the nod to Vandy for the cover.
Vanderbilt Commodores -9 Army Black Knights