We’re back y’all! It’s that glorious time of year where you will travel hours in the car on a Thursday to be able to drink for 48 hours straight only to wake up in a pile of half eaten hamburgers and cans of the local brew. Your only non-football related memories of the last two days consist of running around the tailgate screaming “I AM THE GOD OF WASHERS!” after defeating your cousin and his wife. There was also that time you got the stink eye from someone because you piled on entirely too much food from the spread. It’s a tailgate though, there’s only so many in life and you gotta get as much delicious food in you while you can.
AoG Week in Review
By now, you know the score. We finished the 2016 season like a real SEC football team, and that’s given us all reason to be optimistic going into the season. Still, our fandom is forged in the fires of Vanderbilt, so we generally see another 6 win season upon us, though this team has the potential to be the best ever. It comes down to our offense and whether they can keep the ball moving. Our defense should keep us in every game.
MTSU served us an early opportunity to wring our hands at the possibility of a close one. We’ve all been pleasantly surprised to see that the Vanderbilt offense was in (nearly) end-season form from last year. The Kyle Shurmur lead squad won it through the air, and did it convincingly.
This is a Vanderbilt squad we’ve been waiting for longer than Mason’s tenure. This is the kind of start we need heading into a very tough mid-season schedule. Coach Mason (as well as some of y’all) have already keyed in on some points for improvement for this group. The biggest issue? Offensive line and special teams play was not consistent enough and “left too much out there”. They were adequate, but adequate isn’t going to get the job done in the Swamp in a month.
I said this whole season’s tone is going to be set at MTSU and I think so far that what we have is all we could have asked for. We have a confidence boosting win with a squad that shows no significant signs of slow down from last year. They’re a squad that is pushing themselves to fix their mistakes. They have Bama A&M to get that done, because next week is our first test - KSU.
Around the League
Week 1 was great this year, full of schadenfreude and plenty else to appetize us for the new season.
- Maryland 51 @ #23 Texas 41.The Longhorn faithful are probably missing Charlie Strong right now. The Longhorns were embarrassed in a loss to Maryland, who ran all over them for 263 yards. Don’t let the score or Texas’ 375 yards of passing fool you, THREE of their touchdowns came off non-offensive scores (interception, FG block, punt). At least Texas can say that their special teams unit is good. New Texas HC Tom Herman took the opportunity to throw his players under the bus, saying, “I told our guys to never get used to this feeling, but that if we all thought that we were going to come in here, and in nine months sprinkle some fairy dust on this team and think that we've arrived, then we're wrong.” A comment that Urban Meyer didn’t particularly care for.
- Liberty 48 @ Baylor 45. Baylor was not to be outdone by the Longhorns, not even in embarrassing defeat. The Bears elected to chalk up probably the worst upset in the FBS in the last ten years, losing to 1-AA (FCS) Liberty. The Flames’ Stephen Calvert threw for nearly 450 yards all over the Baylor defense. The Flames didn’t run some wacky gimmick offense, Calvert was able to stand in the pocket all day, laughing at Baylors non-existent pass rush. Fun fact of the game - Stephen Calvert was in on the final hail mary of the game and caught the interception to put the game away for good.
Texas: What a terrible opener— TexAgs (@TexAgs) September 4, 2017
Baylor: Hold my beer
A&M: lololololololololol y’all ain’t seen nothin'
- Aggie 44 @ UCLA 45. If you’re like me, you turned off the A&M-UCLA game at the half when it was a 38-10 Aggie lead. Maybe you turned it off when it got as bad as 44-10 with only 4 minutes left in the third quarter. Well, it seems the only ones who got treated to this comeback was UCLA and Aggie fans. The Bruins scored touchdowns on five straight possessions, capping it off with a fake spike that gave me flashbacks to Dan Marino in a certain game in the 90s. The Aggies’ complete meltdown inspired a member of the Texas A&M Boart of Regents to post on facebook that he will be voting for Sumlin to be fired when the time comes.
- Tennessee 42 @ Georgia Tech 41. After the Tech game last year, I don’t have to preach how effective their triple option offense is. Where Tech did surprise was that their offense was working so well, as it usually takes a few weeks to get the option going. Tech was up two touchdowns twice in the game, the latest being 13 minutes left in the game. Unfortunately the trash can Champions of Life came back, scoring two touchdowns to close out the game, and blocking a Tech FG attempt that would have put the game away in regulation. The Vawls eventually won in 2OT.
There’s Other Footbaw
Something like seven schools in our glorious semi-pro conference playing FCS schools this week, and a lot of the rest of FBS is taking a gimme game... there’s a few decent games though.
- #23 TCU @ Arkansas - CBS 1430 CT. This game is likely to be a close one, and in a sea of garbage, it’s no surprise it’s the CBS game. Arkansas are only three point underdogs, in a classic passing attack vs ball control matchup. Last year’s game was a fun watch, as TCU came back from a 20-7 deficit, and eventually won in 2OT.
- #13 Auburn @ #3 Clemson - ESPN 1800 CT. The game to watch today. This is the game that tells us whether Clemson is going to be a title contender for the third year in a row. Dabo Swinney has commented that the Auburn game last year was one of their toughest games last season. Both teams had crushing rushing attacks last week against inferior opponents, racking up over 350 yards each.
- #14 Stanford @ #6 USC - FOX 1930 CT. Everyone is calling this a preview game for the Pac12 championship game. I’m not sure I agree with that, but it’s bound to be a fun game for those of us still getting schadenfreude watching USC lose. Despite being on the wrong side of a six point line, it’s hard to call Stanford an underdog. The team with the better rushing attack has won typically won this game, and Stanford has won eight of the last eleven matchups. On top of that, USC struggled against Western Michigan last week. Stanford won 20-10 last year.
Get Ready For VU Footbaw
This is going to be a bad football game. The only reason to watch is to be sure that we’re technically sound in the execution of our plays.
GAMETIME: 16:00 ET (15:00 CT)
LOCATION: DUDLEY FIELD, NASHVILLE, TN
TV: SEC NETWORK OVERFLOW
RADIO: 1510 AM, 95.9 FM, 98.3 FM
GAMETRACKER: Click this link
AUDIO FEED (FREE): Click this link (VUCommodores, All-Access)
VIDEO FEED: ESPN3 (Requires Cable Plan w/SECN)
0-1 (0-0, SWAC)
Anchor Down Y’all.