After taking down Georgia last weekend, Vanderbilt is hoping for another huge upset on Saturday against Texas A&M.
The Commodores beat the Bulldogs 31-27 to improve to 4-3 on the season. Given this team's propensity for playing tough against top competition, the win wasn't as surprising as it could have been.
Vanderbilt came close to beating South Carolina earlier this year too, but it won't be easy to win against the Aggies at College Station.
Texas A&M is smarting from a shocking loss at home to Auburn last Saturday. Johnny Manziel was banged up in the game and was forced to the sideline for a while before making his return, but the Aggies fell short of the victory thanks to a superb performance by Nick Marshall.
Thankfully, Manziel appears to be healthy enough to play on Saturday, as noted by Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports:
Am told Johnny Manziel will be fine to play Sat and is out of sling today, per source. #Aggies— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 22, 2013
With a record of 5-2, the Aggies are another loss or two away from missing out on one of the big bowl games in January. Needless to say, this team will be focused for the upcoming game, as will its fans, who will rock the house at College Station.
When: Saturday, Oct. 26, at 12:21 p.m. ET
Where: Kyle Field, College Station, Texas
Watch: ESPN 3
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 70.5 pts.
- Spread: Texas A&M (-18)
Vanderbilt Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Austyn Carta-Samuels||QB||Ques Sat - Knee - 10/21/13|
|Andrew Bridges||OL||Ques Sat - Undisclosed - 10/21/13|
Texas A&M Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Johnny Manziel||QB||Ques Sat - Arm - 10/20/13|
|Cody Johnson||LB||Ques Sat - Ankle - 10/20/13|
|Kirby Ennis||DL||Out for season - Knee - 10/8/13|
|Ricky Seals-Jones||WR||Out indefinitely - Knee - 9/21/13|
Can Vandy Pull Off Another Upset?
Vanderbilt's defense played like it was Alabama last weekend against Georgia.
Aaron Murray was held to just 114 yards passing, throwing zero touchdowns and an interception, and Georgia's offense totaled a mere 221 yards. The Commodores forced three turnovers and allowed just four of 14 third-down conversions.
It was complete domination, and Vandy needs another performance just like it to come away with its second straight major upset.
Provided Manziel plays, this won't be an easy task, however.
He totaled 502 yards and five touchdowns last weekend against Auburn, and his ability to escape pressure differentiates him from pocket passers like Murray, who was abused last weekend by Vanderbilt's defensive front.
Receiver Mike Evans is also a tough man for Vanderbilt to defend. He caught all four of Manziel's four touchdown passes last Saturday, and his size/speed combination is incredibly difficult to defend against.
Manziel is simply too dynamic to be shut down by the Commodores.
Vanderbilt doesn't have an offense that can keep up with the Aggies in a track meet, and Vandy's defense will not be able to contain Evans on the back end.
Which team will win?
Both of Texas A&M's losses this year have come against Top-25 teams (Alabama and Auburn), and the Aggies lost those two games by a combined total of 11 points.
The Commodores are outmatched in every way, and nobody should be surprised if Texas A&M wins by three touchdowns or more.
Texas A&M wins 50-31
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