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Clark Lea era begins with rock bottom in 23-3 loss to ETSU

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Oh, you mean things could get worse than the last couple of years?

NCAA Football: East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, this is rock bottom.

The first game of the Clark Lea era was one that we would probably rather forget. The Commodores briefly held a 3-0 lead on a 53-yard field goal by Joseph Bulovas late in the first quarter. East Tennessee State went ahead in the second quarter on a touchdown pass from Tyler Riddell to Malik Murray, then added on a field goal just before halftime and another in the third quarter to take a 13-3 lead. The Buccaneers then added a scoop and score off a Ken Seals fumble in the fourth quarter to make the score 20-3.

And then, Vanderbilt actually put together a drive that ended with a 99-yard pick six, that was called back because of unsportsmanlike conduct against ETSU, and somehow I can’t decide whether it’s worse to throw a 99-yard pick six or have it disallowed due to unsportsmanlike conduct. And just to add insult to injury, Ken Seals threw another interception in the end zone with two minutes left. You know, because we couldn’t score a touchdown.

The final score was 23-3 in East Tennessee State’s favor. Vanderbilt actually got 318 yards of total offense, but much of that came in the fourth quarter when the Buccaneers already had the game in hand. Vanderbilt is 0-1 and honestly it’s hard to imagine how it gets worse, because how could it?