Vanderbilt vs. Northern Illinois fearless prediction and game preview.
Vanderbilt vs. Northern Illinois Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 28
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN
Network: SEC Network
Vanderbilt (0-3) vs. Northern Illinois (1-2) Game Preview
Why Northern Illinois Will Win
To be fair, Vanderbilt has played Georgia, LSU, and went on the road to deal with Purdue, but so far the team hasn’t even been close to stopping anyone who wants to throw a forward pass.
Usually there’s some sort of an identity to Vandy football with something positive it can do each and every week to make teams worry. There isn’t any of that so far, mainly because the secondary is getting ripped apart 361 yards per game.
Northern Illinois doesn’t have a possible NFL starting quarterback like LSU and Georgia enjoy, but Cal transfer Ross Bowers isn’t all that bad. He’s thrown for 229 yards or more in each of his first three games, and while he’s spread out three picks, he’s at least a veteran quarterback who can hold his own against this Commodore secondary.
NIU is fantastic at controlling the clock and the tempo, and it’s rested after getting two weeks off after getting blasted by Nebraska, but …
Why Vanderbilt Will Win
Northern Illinois really, really can’t keep the chains moving.
Georgia Southern is converting just 17.7% of its third down chances. That’s the only team worse at this than Northern Illinois, who’s converting just 21.3% of its tries. By comparison, as mediocre as Vanderbilt has been overall, it’s at least connecting on close to 33% of his third down chances.
There’s next to no running game to carry the attack – the Huskies have yet to hit the 100-yard mark – the offense is sputtering, and coming up with points is like pulling teeth.
Yes, the ball control aspect of what NIU does is nice, but the team just can’t score. It all starts with an offensive line that’s not up to its normal snuff, with the new coaching staff having a hard time getting the front five rolling. Vanderbilt hasn’t been able to manufacture much of a pass rush so far, but this is the week to get it going.
What’s Going To Happen
Both teams get to play an opponent its own size. Finally, the Vanderbilt secondary will get a break and the offense won’t have to press so desperately hard. Finally, the Northern Illinois lines will be able to hold up better after two rough games.
The rested Huskies will bring a decent fight on the road, but for the first time all year long, the Commodores will be in control of a game and won’t be playing from behind. It won’t be any pretty, but they’ll take their first win of the season.
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Click for CFN Podcast talking Week 4, Wisconsin football, and looking ahead to Week 5 …
Vanderbilt vs. Northern Illinois Prediction, Line
Must See Rating: 2.5
5: Diego Maradona
1: Crank Yankers