Vanderbilt vs. Houston: Skilled Offense Makes Cougars -12 the College Football Pick

David Lawrence

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 5:34 PM GMT

Houston knows that it has to beat Vanderbilt in order to maintain a good position in the attempt to be the Group of Five representative. Check our article and you will find a college football pick.

Momentum
The Vanderbilt Commodores beat Missouri this past weekend, in a game that would never be called a classic by anyone who saw it. The Commodores and Tigers exchanged punt after punt after punt, and could never develop much of anything on offense. The game was not a surprise to anyone who has followed both teams all season. Missouri and Vanderbilt were absolutely putrid on offense through the first half of the season, and nothing changed in their meeting over the weekend. Vanderbilt is clearly an all-defense, no-offense team.

Houston is very different from Vanderbilt. The Cougars can play decent defense at times, but they run hot and cold on that side of the line of scrimmage. The Cougars’ best strength is their offense, which has Greg Ward, Jr. running the controls of the offense with a dual-threat combination of running and passing ability. Houston can attack defenses from all sorts of angles and in various methods due to Ward’s skills, which have been unlocked by new head coach Tom Herman, in his first year in Houston. If Ward is on his game, Houston should win.

 

Line Moves
The college football odds started with this game as a 14-point game for Houston. Then it moved to just 11 points for the Cougars. This is a really, really curious movement in the line. Houston might have a running back injured, but that shouldn’t be enough to deter the Cougars from being able to score a reasonable amount of points on Vanderbilt. The Commodores do have a very solid defense, but they have no offense. Vanderbilt will need to score in the mid-20s to have a real chance here, and while the Commodores might hold Houston to 24 points, they’re probably not going to score anything more than 17 at most, under the best of circumstances. If Houston does anything particularly well, it could easily run away with this game.

 

Notable Injuries
Vanderbilt has linebacker Nigel Bowden listed as questionable for this game with a concussion. Wide receiver Kris Kentera is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Tight end DeAndre Woods is out for the season with a knee injury.

Houston has starting running back Kenneth Farrow listed as questionable with a concussion. Wide receiver Linell Bonner is questionable with a hamstring injury. Offensive lineman Marcus Oliver is questionable with an ankle injury. Offensive lineman Josh Thomas is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Backup quarterback Adam Schulz is out for the season with a torn ACL. Offensive lineman Zach Johnson is out for the season with a knee injury. Offensive lineman Ben Dew is out for the season with a foot injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
The Cougars are very skilled on offense, and while Vanderbilt has a good defense, it does not see offenses as good as Houston’s on a regular basis. Vanderbilt plays in an SEC East with a lot of offensive limitations. Houston has a lot more than what Vanderbilt is used to seeing. Take the Cougars minus the points with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Houston -12 at 5Dimes

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