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Saturday Tailgate: Nevada

If you’re spending the day watching the terrible games, you may want to pick up a second hobby

Rabbit Season.

AoG Week in Review

You’d never know that we won by four touchdowns. Yes, it was MTSU, but let’s get something straight: we won by four touchdowns. Winning games that we should is still a relatively new thing for Vanderbilt in general. Before the Franklin era, it was very possible for that score to have been reversed. The recent struggles have only been compounded by the brief success and attention he showed us to be capable of. Therefore, while fans have every reason to temper their optimism going forward, It is hard to imagine a better way for Vanderbilt to start the season. So while things have not been where we want them, let’s not overstate things and say we’re ‘same old Vandy’ when we lose.

Some have voiced concerns about the plainness of the offense against MTSU. I don’t have a large problem with how we played offense...yet. It’s not uncommon for an offense to run bread and butter schemes opening weekend, particularly against inferior opponents. It’s much the same reason why you practice those plays more than any other. Those are the workhorse plays of the offense and ultimately where you’re going to get those 4 yard gains on second down. It just makes sense to run those plays in a game like this. We likely will against Nevada too.

The thing I’m most optimistic about from this game is our running attack. The Wakefield-Vaughn-Blasingame trio is going to be a tough attack to stop. Each of these backs has different skillsets and I could see us doing a lot of split back format stuff if it really gets going. Even going with traditional one back sets, this running attack looks like it will be a solid threat. Like NFL teams, the days of a single RB doing everything are over.

On the other side, the passing attack was what I’ll call acceptable. I am a run-first offense kind of guy, so I’ve always said that all you need is acceptable. Some of the great football teams stick to a run first approach to open up passing games. We did that effectively, mostly relying on veteran receivers. Another factor here was that the OL largely gave Shurmur the time he needed. Yeah, MTSU, but with Nevada this week, we have at least one more week to be happy with pass protection.

This is largely in agreement with my colleagues and most of the commentariat. We’re happy, but we need to see a little more. As of now, we’ve learned a little bit about how our defense may look, but we’ve not seen enough to know who this team is. The consensus we all seem to be coming to is that we’ll really learn who we are in South Bend next week. Until then, let’s just be happy that life after Ralph Webb looks good, our passing game looks fine, and our defense largely did their jobs.

Other Notes

Around the League

Penn State almost lost to App State at home, the SEC went 13 and VAWWWWLs, and LSU shocked everyone by crushing Miami. You can read about some of last week’s action in my around the league recap here.

There's Other Footbaw

Well, not really. There’s only two games on the slate of non-Vanderbilt games that I’d say are worth watching. Nonetheless, I have filled your day with a suggested full day’s helping of games to make football day fun!

Get Ready for Vanderbilt Footbaw

We play the Wolf pack of Nevada this week. The Wolf Pack are based out of Reno, a city best known for an incorrect answer on a state capitals test (it’s Carson City you dolts). Also there was a fairly famous Comedy Central show about it. We have no Q&A with them, mostly because there’s no Nevada SBN site.

That didn’t stop us from spilling plenty of ink on the matchup today. We’ve got some commentary on Mason’s weekly presser, along with the released depth chart. In addition, we’ve got offensive and defensive breakdowns for y’all to get all the intel you need for our opponents today.

Nevada scores a lot of points, and won 72-19 over Portland State last week. That could make you uncomfortable. It has made me question my pick for Vanderbilt to win this game by two (or more) scores. Nonetheless, let’s not forget that Nevada barely can keep with their own bad conference in terms of play. Vanderbilt should win this one. If we see more of what we saw against MTSU, we should have another strong showing.