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Saturday Tailgate: LSU

Not today, old friend.

If there’s one thing about Vanderbilt fans, we’re pretty easy to please. Case in point: the feeling about the 2020 Vanderbilt football team after one game.

255 yards of total offense? 3.8 yards per play? A defense that gave up 6.8 yards per play? None of that seems to matter. The final score was 17-12, in a game in which Vanderbilt was a 30-point underdog. The defense looked as sturdy as it has since Derek Mason’s halcyon days as defensive coordinator, when in early 2017 the defense limited its first three points to 13 points — total. The offense didn’t look great, but with a true freshman quarterback behind an offensive line held together with Elmer’s glue and Scotch tape, well, what were you expecting? But the true freshman quarterback looks good, and after just one game we’ve all collectively concluded that there is no quarterback controversy and will not be one for the next four years, barring injury or some other issue.

Do we like moral victories? No, but after the hideousness that was the 2019 football season, we’ll take any signs of life we can find. To be clear, while we would like to be good at football, we’re also pretty glad that we’re not Tennessee fans who can be abjectly miserable with an 8-4 season. After all, James Franklin went 24-15 in three years and he’s widely viewed as the best Vanderbilt football coach any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes. Butch Jones went 25-14 from 2014-16 and... well, let’s just say that Tennessee fans have a different opinion about him.

Now, of course, a really ugly loss to LSU tonight could kill all of this. But right now, the feeling is one of guarded optimism. Or to put it another way...

Yeah. Pretty much.

Anchor of Gold This Week

Glad you asked!

Earlier this week, we reviewed the box score from Vanderbilt’s season opener against Texas A&M and asked whether that result calls for renewed optimism in the football team. And DotP wrote about the lessons we learned from the A&M game. We also recapped last Saturday’s results around the SEC.

Looking forward to LSU, Stan previewed the offense and I previewed the defense. Vanderbilt released a new depth chart and we also recapped Derek Mason’s weekly press conference. I asked some questions to Zach Junda of And the Valley Shook (SB Nation’s LSU blog), and we all gave our predictions for today’s game.

We also had our weekly staff pick ‘em contest and answered your questions in the mailbag, and I gave you gambling advice that you definitely did not ask for. Oh, yeah, and there was also a soccer game against Tennessee.

Oh, and we learned that the South Carolina game is in the JP time slot.

We’ve also been having basically daily open threads for MLB playoff baseball and the occasional Campbell-Wake Forest game: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Anchor Drop: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

There’s Other Football

Also known as: how to fill your day until Vanderbilt kicks off at 6:30 PM.

The Early Shift

11:00 AM CT

  • South Carolina at Florida (ESPN)
  • Missouri at Tennessee (SEC Network)
  • Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina (ESPN2)
  • Baylor at West Virginia (ABC)
  • East Carolina at Georgia State (ESPNU)
  • NC State at Pittsburgh (ACC Network)
  • TCU at Texas (FOX)

11:30 AM CT

  • UTSA at UAB (FSN/Stadium)

12:00 PM CT

  • North Alabama at Liberty (ESPN3)

12:30 PM CT

  • Abilene Christian at Army (CBS Sports)

2:00 PM CT

  • Houston Baptist at Eastern Kentucky (ESPN3)

What to watch: Missouri-Tennessee for as long as it looks like THEY might lose. Otherwise, I am going to personally recommend UTSA-UAB, though TCU-Texas should be a good game and Baylor-West Virginia is interesting.

The Afternoon Shift

2:30 PM CT

  • Texas A&M at Alabama (CBS)
  • North Carolina at Boston College (ABC)
  • Oklahoma State at Kansas (ESPN)
  • Memphis at SMU (ESPN2)
  • Texas Tech at Kansas State (FS1)
  • South Florida at Cincinnati (ESPN+)
  • Central Arkansas at North Dakota State (ESPN+)

3:00 PM CT

  • Ole Miss at Kentucky (SEC Network)
  • Charlotte at Florida Atlantic (ESPNU)
  • Virginia Tech at Duke (ACC Network)
  • Jacksonville State at Florida State (ESPN3)

4:00 PM CT

  • Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee (ESPN3)
  • West Texas A&M at Stephen F. Austin (ESPN3)

5:00 PM CT

  • Navy at Air Force (CBS Sports)

What to watch: Texas A&M-Alabama if you want to feel bad about Vanderbilt keeping it close against Texas A&M. Ole Miss-Kentucky could be fun, Memphis-SMU could be really fun, Charlotte-Florida Atlantic involves Will Healy (mancrush of a disturbing number of Vanderbilt fans.) But may I draw your attention to West Texas A&M vs. Stephen F. Austin, a game that is not only happening today but also is being streamed.

The Evening Shift

6:00 PM CT

  • Georgia Southern at UL Monroe (ESPN+)

6:30 PM CT

  • LSU at Vanderbilt (SEC Network)
  • Auburn at Georgia (ESPN)
  • Tulsa at UCF (ESPN2)
  • Arkansas at Mississippi State (SEC Network alternate)
  • Oklahoma at Iowa State (ABC)
  • Southern Miss at North Texas (FSN/Stadium)

7:00 PM CT

  • Virginia at Clemson (ACC Network)

What to watch: well, obviously, if you’re reading this you’re more than likely gonna watch LSU-Vanderbilt. If that gets bad, Auburn-Georgia should be good, Oklahoma-Iowa State might be worth a look, absolutely do not look at Arkansas-Mississippi State.

Sorry, no late shift this week thanks to BYU playing on Friday.