Derek Mason USA Today

Thank You to Our Sponsors


By Russell Lorentz, from Vandy Insider

Vanderbilt Game Preview:

(RV) Vanderbilt Commodores (3-0) vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0)

Line: Alabama -18.5

When: Saturday Sept. 23rd, 2:30 p.m., CBS

Site: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, TN

What to Watch For:

Vandy is rolling, as this is Derek Mason’s most complete football team. However, in week four, the ‘Dores face a tall task, in a game where most do not expect them to be competitive against perennial power Alabama.

Vandy proved they’re for real, by beating then No. 18 Kansas State, in a game that tested the Commodores fortitude in the final stanzas of the ball game. Vanderbilt’s growth is evident, because past teams have relinquished those up-and-down affairs.

Keys to a Vanderbilt victory:

  • Offensive Balance: Ralph Webb has still been the focal point of many scouting reports despite Kyle Shurmur’s progression. It will be extremely difficult to run against the Crimson Tide, as the Tide rank eighth (80.3 yds. per game) among FBS schools. Look for Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig to use the pass to open up holes for Webb and Khari Blasingame early. Vanderbilt replaced Barrett Gouger and Will Holden on the offensive line and it showed itself in run blocking against the Wildcats.
  • Offense Aiding the Defense: Shocking to some, but Vanderbilt’s defense will keep them in this ball game. The Commodore defense proves stingy as they lead the country in total defense, giving up just 198.3 yards a game. The Commodores held Wildcat QB Jesse Ertz (10/28, 76 yards passing) at bay. It’s ultra-important for the ‘Dores offense to give the defense rest.
  • Containing Jalen Hurts: Hurts was the Offensive Player of the Year in the SEC in 2016, but has one weakness– throwing the football. While an explosive runner, Hurts (13/31, 131 yds.) struggled in the National Championship Game against Clemson, and threw for just 96 yards against Florida State in the season opener.
  • Prevent the big play: Alabama flips the momentum of a game with either a defensive score, a special teams score, or an explosive play offensively to the likes of Calvin Ridley deep  for a score in what seems like nearly every game. Make the Crimson Tide earn everything. 
  • Contain Alabama’s bevy of running backs: If Vanderbilt’s defense contains the Tide’s backfield to a point, Hurts will throw more –advantage Vandy.

SEC Nation is set to broadcast live  from the The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons from 9-11 a.m. CT on Saturday morning, the second time on campus.

The SEC Nation crew features host Laura Rutledge alongside analysts Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Paul Finebaum.

The program made is first trip to West End for the Commodores’ home matchup with Georgia in 2015.


Soltea
Improve Your Heart Health with All-Natural Soltea Daily Supplement – Click Now to Save 25% Off Your First Order
All-Natural Heart Health Supplement – Save 25% Now
CodeMonkey
Coding for kids! Introducing programming games for the next generation. Get your kids coding today.
Start with a free trial.
Tally
Overcome your credit card debt with Tally. Consolidate and save money while you pay it down.
Get started with Tally today.
Gabi
The easiest way to compare and save on home and auto insurance. Match coverage, compare rates and save.
Find hundreds in savings now!
Truebill
Lower your bills and stay on top of your financial life with Truebil, the app that helps you save every day.
Take control & start saving money!
Grow Credit
Grow Credit is a free Mastercard you can use to pay your subscriptions while you build credit.
Start building your credit today!
Acorns
Acorns helps you grow your money. Take control with all-in-one investment, retirement, checking and more.
Get a $5 bonus when you sign up.
Brigit
Know your spending habits, anticipate overdrafts, and get up to $250. Only takes 2 minutes. No credit check.
Get your finances on track.