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Anchor Drop, August 16, 2019: 15 Days to Kickoff

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The quarterback competition ... continues.

Vanderbilt v Mississippi Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Good morning.

We are now 15 days away from Vanderbilt football’s season opener against the Georgia Bulldogs. Two players wear #15 for the Commodores. DB Elijah Hamilton is 15 on defense; the redshirt junior played in all 13 games last season as part of the rotation at safety and made two tackles. 15 on offense is redshirt freshman QB Allan Walters, who rated as a four-star recruit before announcing his commitment to Vanderbilt, at which point his rating coincidentally dropped to three stars. Anyway, his name hasn’t come up in the ongoing QB competition so we’ll just assume he’s third on the depth chart behind Neal and Wallace.

Hey! Speaking of the QB competition, we’ve got another practice report!

Graduate transfer quarterback Riley Neal hit senior wideout Kalija Lipscomb for a 10-yard gain. The Yorktown, Indiana, native scrambled and spotted junior wide receiver Chris Pierce a few plays later.

So Riley Neal is taking snaps with the first team!

Redshirt junior quarterback Deuce Wallace beat the defense for a major gain, finding redshirt senior tight end Jared Pinkney open for a 30-yard connection.

Unless Deuce Wallace is taking snaps with the first team!

Wallace located Amir Abdur-Rahman for 25 yards as part of a one-minute drill in which the offense looked to drive in the field when trailing by a touchdown. Two plays later, he found Wakefield in open space for another first down.

Is Amir Abdur-Rahman on the first team or the second team? We’re not really sure!

Senior kicker Ryley Guay drilled field goal tries of 54, 51, 48 and 45 yards.

Unrelated, but that’s probably a good thing!

All right, fine. Tell us about it, Gerry Gdowski.

It does really sound like this is too close to call, and that probably says more about Deuce Wallace than it does about Riley Neal — who, you might recall, threw for over 7000 yards at Ball State and who the Notre Dame folks told us is, in fact, a good quarterback. We should be fine either way. Now we just need DoreonthePlains to ungunk the sunshine pump again.

And meanwhile, here’s a fall camp report for the soccer team. They’ve got another exhibition game (in Memphis) tomorrow night. Vanderbilt soccer will also play three nationally-televised games this season: vs. Tennessee on ESPNU on September 22, and two games on the SEC Network, vs. Florida on September 29 and at South Carolina on October 13.

Rising senior golfer John Augenstein won two matches at the U.S. Amateur and advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals. He’ll face incoming Notre Dame freshman Palmer Jackson at 2:00 PM CT on Friday; live coverage of the quarterfinals starts at 3:00 PM CT on FS1.

Here’s Shan Foster talking about Senior Night against Mississippi State.

Adam Sparks got his hands on the contract for the two games against ETSU. The most notable part of this is that the teams were originally scheduled to play on September 14, but moved the game to November 23 in a 2017 addendum. What does it mean? One possibility is that Vanderbilt got word that they’d have two SEC games in the first four weeks of the season, so they moved it to November. Or else Vanderbilt found out they’d have SoCon Saturday open — which actually is true in 2020 as well, when they play Louisiana Tech the week before the Tennessee game. And with one of Vanderbilt’s two traditional late-season rivals (Kentucky) now partaking in an out-of-conference rivalry game on Thanksgiving weekend may have meant that the SEC doesn’t have any particular reason to make the Commodores play Missouri the weekend before Thanksgiving, as they did in 2017. I really don’t know the answer to this. Also, Vanderbilt will pay ETSU $390,000 for this year’s game and $415,000 for the 2021 game.

ICYMI: Four Commodores make the preseason All-SEC team, and basketball released its nonconference schedule.

Off the West End

Harvey Updyke isn’t making his restitution payments, in case you needed a reminder that Alabama fans are nuts.

Michael Avenatti filed a motion in court alleging that Nike tried to pay Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford while they were still in high school. Though, as Gary Parrish pointed out on his podcast yesterday, this was probably just a payment to their fathers to set up AAU teams to compete in the EYBL, which is perfectly within the NCAA rules. Sometimes, the shocking part is what’s legal.

From The Athletic ($): Group text: Predicting Pac-12 football; State of the Hoops Program: Mississippi State.

Scoreboard

MLB: Mariners 7, Tigers 2 ... Marlins 13, Dodgers 7 ... Indians 19, Yankees 5 ... Phillies 7, Cubs 5 ... Reds 2, Cardinals 1 ... Mets 10, Braves 8 ... Twins 13, Rangers 6 ... Giants 7, Diamondbacks 0 ... Angels 8, White Sox 7 ... A’s 7, Astros 6.

NFL Preseason: Eagles 24, Jaguars 10 ... Jets 22, Falcons 10 ... Bengals 23, Redskins 13 ... Ravens 26, Packers 13 ... Raiders 33, Cardinals 26.

PGA Tour: Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak are tied for the lead after the first round of the BMW Invitational.