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Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Houston Cougars Compass Bowl Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/4/14

Houston Cougars (8-4) at Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4)

College Football: Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Legion Field)

The Line: Vanderbilt Commodores -2.5 -- Over/Under: 53.5 See the Latest Odds


The Vanderbilt Commodores play the Houston Cougars in the Compass Bowl on Saturday afternoon.

Vanderbilt finished 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the SEC conference during the regular season. Vanderbilt extended its streak to nine straight November wins, finishing the regular season with four straight victories, including the last two by a combined six points. Vanderbilt’s senior QB Austyn Carta-Samuels, who started the last three regular-season games, will not play after having surgery on his left knee. Carta-Samuels, who injured his knee Oct. 19 and missed two games before returning, had the surgery after the regular season ended so he would be ready to participate in this spring's pro day activities. Redshirt freshman QB Patton Robinette made two starts for the Commodores and went 40-of-69 for 488 yards and two touchdowns, along with six rushing scores. WR Jordan Matthews broke his own single-season school record with 1,334 yards and owns Vanderbilt and SEC marks for career receptions with 257, career yards with 3,616, 100-yard games with 18, and single-season receptions with 107. The Cougars also have a 1,000-yard receiver in WR Deontay Greenberry. Vanderbilt will be playing in their third straight bowl game for the first time in school history.

Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Houston Cougars Compass Bowl Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/4/14

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Houston finished the regular season 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the AAC. The Cougars lost all four of their games by seven points or fewer, including three straight in November before ending the season with a 34-0 victory over Southern Methodist. Houston offensive coordinator Doug Meacham took the same position at Texas Christian after the regular season, leaving assistant head coach Travis Bush to return to play-calling duties. Bush called plays for 11 games in 2012 and was promoted to offensive coordinator, the Cougars' seventh in six years. Freshman QB John O'Korn, who started the last 10 games, went 239-of-399 for 2,889 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Houston defense is ranked first in the country in takeaways with 40 and a turnover margin of plus-25. Adrian McDonald had five of the team's 23 interceptions and Trevon Stewart recovered six of the 17 fumbles.

This should be a competitive game and I think turnovers and penalties will decided who comes away with the win. Vanderbilt is more discipline team and they have a played a tough schedule in the SEC. This is one of those games where I will back the SEC team, based on the level of talent they have played throughout the year. I think the Commodores will play solid defense and Houston will have a difficult time stopping Jordan Mathews, the best player on the field. Vanderbilt wins by at least a touchdown.

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