The Commodores had an uneven season at best, Although they bookended their season with two wins on either side, they were 2-8 otherwise. Vandy met and lost to four nationally-ranked teams, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky. Baylor had a similar season. They won their first two games and their final contest of the season. The Bears, like the Commodores, played four nationally-ranked teams, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, and Iowa State. They lost to each team.
Vanderbilt – Analysis
Vandy offered up 419.8 YPG to opponents. Included were 187.3 rushing yards and 232.6 passing yards. The Commodore D allowed 25.1 PPG. Our 2018 Texas Bowl free pick notes that the Vanderbilt defense could be a major factor and difference-maker in this game. However, with 19 QB bring-downs, we don’t think they’re a huge sack threat. They do have 56 TFL, which indicates some decent resistance towards the rush attack. The secondary has 13 picks and 49 PD.
Baylor – Analysis
Baylor gave up 31.2 PPG. The allowed 174.8 YPG in rushing and 238.4 YPG in passing. Our 2018 Texas Bowl free pick sees this defense is problematic. They’ve managed to grab just six picks and have defended under 30 passes. On the line, James Lynch and Greg Roberts will need to lead. Together, they have accumulated 16.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks.
Five Keys to the Game
- Baylor offense can produce
- Vandy D has the potential to step up
- Bear defense has some major weaknesses
- QB matchup favors Commodores
- Baylor offense lacks depth
Our 2018 Texas Bowl Free Pick
Our 2018 Texas Bowl free pick likes the Bears at -3.5. We feel that they have an edge on defense and in overall depth on offense. We’re also going with the over at 55.5. We do expect each team to be able to score enough to hit the top. See our picks for Thursday’s Independence Bowl and Pinstripe Bowl. To connect to our series of picks, please go to our 2018 Bowl schedule page.