The Vanderbilt Commodores will travel to Notre Dame Stadium to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this upcoming Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The Vanderbilt Commodores improved to 2-0 on the season after easily defeating the Nevada Wolfpack, 41-10, this past Saturday. Vanderbilt led by a 17-10 margin at halftime, however, easily shut down the Wolfpack offense in the 2nd half and pulled away for the victory after scoring 24 unanswered points. Vanderbilt outgained Nevada by a 468-250 margin and won the turnover battle by a 4-2 margin. Leading the way for the Commodores was QB Kyle Shurmur who completed 23 of 32 passes for 258 yards and 2 TD. Offensively, Vanderbilt has been solid on the offensive end as in their games against Nevada and MTSU, they are averaging 38.0 ppg on 407.0 total yards per game (220.0 passing yds/g; 187.0 rushing yds/g). QB Kyle Shurmur has completed 67.3% of his passes for 4 TD & 0 INT while averaging 214.0 passing yds/g. Shurmur’s top targets on the season have been WR Kalija Lipscomb (7.0 rec/g; 72.5 yds/g; 3 TD) and TE Jared Pinkney (3.5 rec/g; 65.0 yds/g). Leading the way for the Commodores backfield has been Ke’Shawn Vaughn (10.0 att/g; 65.0 yds/g; 2 TD) and Jamauri Wakefield (9.0 att/g; 49.5 yds/g; TD). Defensively, Vanderbilt is holding their opponents to an average of 16.5 ppg on 328.0 total yards per game (214.5 passing yds/g; 113.5 rushing yds/g). Vanderbilt has done a great job creating turnovers early in the season as they’ve forced their opponents into 6 turnovers over their first two games.
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The 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish had more of a battle than they expected against the Ball State Cardinals, however, improved to 2-0 on the season after a 24-16 victory this past Saturday. Notre Dame led by a 24-6 margin heading into the 4th quarter, however, Ball State did score 10 unanswered points to make it a one possession game late and forced Norte Dame to recover an onside quick and get a first down before closing out the game. Notre Dame outgained Ball State by a 414-349 margin, however, did loss the turnover battle by a 3-2 margin. Leading the way for the Fighting Irish was the RB duo of Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong who combined for 127 yards and 3 TD’s on 26 carries. Offensively, Notre Dame hasn’t been overly impressive in their first two games agianst Michigan and Ball State as they are currently averaging 24.0 ppg on 328.0 total yards per game (214.5 passing yds/g; 113.5 rushing yds/g). Notre Dame has been led by their backfield of Tony Jones Jr. (11.0 att/g; 53.0 yds/g 2 TD) and Jafar Armstrong (14.0 att/g; 50.5 yds/g; 3 TD). QB Brandon Wimbush has struggled as he has completed just 54.7% of his passes for 1 TD & 4 INT while averaging 233.5 passing yds/g. The leading receivers for the Fighting Irish have been Miles Boykin (3.5 rec/g; 73.5 yds/g), Chris Finke (2.5 rec/g; 47.5 yds/g; TD), and Chase Claypool (3.0 rec/g; 41.5 yds/g). Defensively, Notre Dame is currently holding their opponents to an average of 16.5 ppg on 328.0 total yards per game (214.5 passing yds/g; 113.5 rushing yds/g).
The Commodores are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September however, just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning record.
Vanderbilt returned just four starters on a defense that allowed over 30 ppg game last season, however, the Commodores have looked outstanding on that end to start the season against two teams that like to put to mover the football and put points up on the board in MTSU and Nevada. Notre Dame has an impressive victory agianst Michigan to start their season, however, it was a disappointing effort against a Ball State team that isn’t projected to be one of the worst teams in the MAC this season. Notre Dame’s offense hasn’t looked that great as Brandon Wimbush has had trouble with turnovers so far this season and as the Commodores have a veteran presence at the QB position in Kyle Shurmur who I feel will be able to do at least some damage against the Fighting Irish defense, I’m taking Vanderbilt and the points in this one.