The Vanderbilt Commodores will be travelling to Canvas Stadium on Saturday night to take on the Colorado State Rams as both teams are coming off losing efforts in their opening games. Vanderbilt is coming off a 23-3 loss against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers where sophomore quarterback Ken Seals went 20-of-35 for 195 yards with a pair of interceptions. Colorado State is coming off a 43-23 loss against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits and senior quarterback Todd Centeio went 29-of-42 for 304 yards and a touchdown.
These teams have to play better as both defenses have struggled in their first game in the 2021 season so it will be interesting to see how these programs bounce-back here as we determine where we should be placing our wagers.
Sheppard Racking in the CatchesThe Vanderbilt Commodores have a good option in the form of sophomore wide receiver Will Sheppard. He finished the opening game with nine receptions for 84 yards (9.3 yards per catch). He only had two catches for 30 yards all of 2020 so this is his first time to be a big threat for opposing defenses. If Ken Seals can figure out how to get him the ball, as he had 45 percent of the completions last week, it will really get the chains moving throughout the game.
The Vanderbilt Commodores' defense has been decent after their first game of the season as they allowed 23 points and 314 total yards of offense (135 passing, 179 rushing). They have the structure of a good defense as they were able to get stops on third down as the Commodores forced the Buccaneers to go 6-for-15 on third down and failed to convert the only fourth-down attempt. They need to play better as they were unable to force a turnover and gave up 4.8 rushing yards per carry. If Vandy’s defense can improve on the yardage they allow, they can be a good program.
Elite Pass CatcherThe Colorado State Rams have one of the better pass catchers in senior tight end Trey McBride. He finished the season opener with 13 catches for 116 yards and has shown the ability to be Todd Centeio’s security blanket, especially with McBride having 44.8 percent of the receptions last week. If he can continue to be that type of easy target for this offense, the Rams will be in great shape this season.
The Colorado State Rams struggled defensively in their opening game against South Dakota State where they allowed 42 points and 466 total yards of offense (224 passing, 242 rushing). Their rushing defense was punitive in this game as they allowed 7.1 rushing yards per game throughout the four quarters. They were not getting stops on third down either as the Jackrabbits went 5-of-11 on third down and converted their only fourth-down attempt. If they can figure out how to get their defense off the field without giving up trips to the endzone, they will be in a way better spot.
- Colorado State: 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games following a double-digit loss at home
- Colorado State: 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite