Can Missouri’s offense get going versus Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt has a statistically solid defense under Mason
Denny Medley/Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On first glance, the prospects of playing lowly Vanderbilt should excite the Missouri offense. 

Sitting at 2-4 (0-3 in conference play), the Commodores lack in both the talent and depth department. 

Head coach Derek Mason is desperately searching for some personnel answers right now, as his team hopes to avoid going winless in conference play for a second-straight season. 

With that said, this is a matchup in which Vanderbilt could take advantage of. 

Perhaps surprising to some, the Commodores rank No. 31 nationally in total defense. Mason’s defensive unit is a hard-working unit with good discipline and activity. On the other end of the coin, Missouri’s offense ranks No. 125 out of a possible 127 teams. 

Advantage, Vanderbilt? 

Gary Pinkel’s team must put together a complete effort in terms of both running and throwing the football. As healthy as he’s been all season, it’s time Mizzou opens up some running lanes for Russell Hansbrough. 

After rushing for over 1,000 yards last year, the Texas native has only 190 yards on the ground in ’15. Continuity along the offensive line has been a question. However, if the Tigers can run the ball effectively against Vandy, it’ll help to take pressure off of true freshman signal-caller Drew Lock. 

Running the ball could also wear Vanderbilt’s defense out. If the Commodores have to commit more numbers towards the line of scrimmage, it’ll open up possibilities for Lock to exploit the defense with throws vertically. 

Without sound redundant, this is a near must-win game for Missouri. If it has any hopes of jumping back into the SEC East Division race, it must get its offense some confidence (and production) in this contest.