Vanderbilt Commodores (0-0) at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Floyd Stadium)
The Line: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders +5.5 -- Over/Under: 58 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders host the Vanderbilt Commodores to open the 2017 college football season.
The Vanderbilt Commodores were 6-7 in 2016 with a defense that was forced to shoulder most of the load. The Commodores were not known for lighting up the scoreboard at 23 points on 356 yards. The Vandy defense allowed 24 points on 408 yards which is solid versus tough SEC competition. If experience is a good thing, Vanderbilt is in good shape because the team has it beginning with quarterback Kyle Shurmur who was a competent passer over the second half of 2016 and has eight of his top ten options back including Caleb Scott who also improved in the latter half of last season. Ralph Webb leads the Commodores on the ground after gaining 1,283 a year ago but Webb needs help from the passing attack and a few new faces on the offensive line to be at his best once again in 2017.
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders were an explosive offensive squad in 2016 with nearly 40 points per game on 518 yards with the #8 passing attack averaging 326 yards which led to an 8-5 record. Every point was needed as the Blue Raiders were not very good at stopping anything with opponents averaging almost 36 points on 450 yards. Middle Tennessee State is hoping quarterback Brent Stockstill is 100% from offseason shoulder surgery. The left hander also missed the final three games of 2016 with a broken collarbone and was still one of the most productive passers in the CUSA despite injuries to his receiving corps. The Blue Raiders will look to Richie James, Ty Lee and Desmond Anderson to lead the receiving unit which has plenty of weapons. The MTSU rushing attack was not good last year and will need better production from Terrelle West or Maurice Gordon but the line needs revamping.
Vanderbilt Commodores are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 versus CUSA and the over is 4-0-1 in Vanderbilt Commodores last 5 non-conference games while Vanderbilt Commodores are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on turf. The over is 5-0 In Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders last 5 home games and the over is 5-0 in Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders last 5 games on turf while the over is 7-1 in Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders last 8 games overall. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings and the road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Stockstill faces a strong Vanderbilt secondary and Ralph Webb faces a weak Blue Raider run ‘D’ so the matchups say Vandy has a decent chance of winning. Right now I’ll take the points and hope this is a close one…