Vanderbilt Commodores have chance to start 2-0 for 2nd straight season

Alabama A&M (0-0) at Vanderbilt (1-0), Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, SEC Network+)

Line: No line, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Vanderbilt leads 1-0.


Vanderbilt can start 2-0 for a second straight season under coach Clark Lea after holding off Hawaii 35-28 to open the season. The Commodores need a win before hitting the road for two straight games. Alabama A&M visits Vanderbilt for the first time since 2017, a game the Bulldogs lost 42-0. Opening the season against a team from the Southeastern Conference won't be easy for a program that went 4-7 last season.


Vanderbilt will get a much-needed chance to work on its run game after managing only 40 yards on 25 rushes in the opener. That included 21 yards on a touchdown run by Patrick Smith to cap the Commodores' opening drive. The Commodores also gave up three sacks. Alabama A&M lost four defensive linemen from a team that went 4-7 in 2022.


Alabama A&M: Quarterbacks Quincy Casey and Xaiver Lankford each played 10 games last season and threw for at least 1,000 yards apiece. But they combined for only 11 touchdown passes. Whoever starts gets to throw against a Vanderbilt defense that gave up 351 yards passing to Hawaii.

Vanderbilt: Safety De’Rickey Wright picked off two passes in the Commodores' 35-28 opening win over Hawaii. His first came in the end zone, and his second came with 1:43 remaining to preserve the victory. That was the second multiple-interception game of his career.


Vanderbilt is 27-10 against non-Southeastern Conference opponents dating to 2013. The Commodores have won 19 of the last 21 games against non-Power Five opponents and went 3-0 last season. ... Vanderbilt was the SEC's least penalized team in 2022 with 63 penalties ranking the Commodores 24th nationally. ... Vanderbilt scored four defensive TDs in 2022, tops in the SEC and fourth nationally. ... Vanderbilt ranked 26th nationally last year protecting the quarterback, allowing an average of 1.25 sacks a game. ... Connell Maynor is going into his sixth season coaching Alabama A&M. ... The Bulldogs were outscored 353-225, and coming out of halftime didn't help them make adjustments. Alabama A&M was outscored the most in the third quarter by a difference of 108-38. ... The Southwestern Athletic Conference team moved to Division I in 1999.


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