Home Opener Up Next

Vanderbilt looks for first win, opens home schedule Saturday

Vanderbilt Commodores (0-1)
No. 20/17 LSU Tigers (0-1)

In-Game Notes

Oct. 3, 2020 • 6:30 p.m. CT
Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, Tenn.

SEC Network
Tom Hart (play-by-play), Jordan Rodgers (analyst),
Cole Cubelic (sideline)

WQZQ 830 AM • 93.3 FM
Joe Fisher (play-by-play), Norman Jordan (analyst),
Kevin Ingram (sideline)

• In the home opener for Vanderbilt, the Commodores welcome No. 20/17 LSU to Nashville. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT at Vanderbilt Stadium with live television coverage on SEC Network.

• Saturday’s game marks the 32nd in the series with LSU as the Tigers lead 23-7-1. The programs first met in 1910 when the Commodores claimed a 22-0 victory in Nashville. The teams are meeting in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2009-10.

• The Commodores’ Oct. 3 home opener is their latest since 1959 when they welcomed Alabama on the same date.

• During the home opener, the Commodores will recognize Turner’s Heroes, a non-profit effort aiming to support pediatric patients and fund research grants. The organization was started in the summer of 2019 by former Vanderbilt tight end Cody Markel to honor the legacy of former teammate and classmate of Markel’s, Turner Cockrell. Cockrell passed away Nov. 29, 2018, after a lengthy battle with melanoma. His No. 82 jersey is retired and is recognized next to the video board inside Vanderbilt Stadium. For more information, visit TurnersHeroes.org.

• Seven Vanderbilt student-athletes earned their first collegiate starts last week: Amir Abdur-Rahman (Jr., WR), Justin Ball (So., TE), Donovan Kaufman (Fr., S), Ja’Veon Marlow (Jr., RB), Anfernee Orji (So., ILB), Alston Orji (Jr., ILB) and Ken Seals (Fr., QB). Two others were first-time starters in a Vanderbilt uniform: Connor Mignone (5th, RT) and Raashaan Wilkins Jr. (Jr., DT).

• Eleven Commodores made their collegiate debuts last week at Texas A&M: Bradley Ashmore (Fr., OL), Ball, Ethan Barr (Fr., LB), Nate Clifton (So., DL), Ben Cox (Fr., OL), Derek Green (So., DL), Kaufman, Chase Lloyd (Fr., DB), Seals, Will Sheppard (Fr., WR) and Mike Wright (Fr., QB). Four more made their Vanderbilt debuts in Tyrell Alexander (5th, WR), Malik Langham (Jr., DL), Mignone and Wilkins Jr.

• Seals became just the third SEC true freshman quarterback to start a season opener and the first to do so in a true road game. Seals, a January enrollee, threw for 150 yards and a touchdown in his collegiate debut. The 150 yards are fourth-most in a game by a Vanderbilt true freshman quarterback since 2000.

• Abdur-Rahman was Seals’ top target, finishing with a personal-best five catches and a career-high 72 receiving yards. Abdur-Rahman also scored the Commodores’ touchdown with a seven-yard strike from Seals.

• Vanderbilt had three defensive standouts selected to the Preseason All-SEC teams by the league’s head coaches: defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo (second team), linebacker Andre Mintze (third team) and linebacker Dimitri Moore (third team). Odeyingbo (second team) was also selected by the media.

• Odeyingbo turned in a team-high 2.0 tackles for loss at Texas A&M and added a sack. He enters the LSU game tied for fifth in the SEC in tackles for loss in 2020.

• The Commodores recovered three fumbles at Texas A&M, the most in a game since jumping on three at No. 10 Florida on Nov. 7, 2015. Vanderbilt, tied for sixth nationally in fumbles recovered, had five all of 2019.

• Vanderbilt chose seven team captains for the 2020 campaign: Odeyingbo, Mintze, junior wide receiver Cam Johnson, junior defensive back Camden Coleman, cornerback Elijah Hamilton, center Grant Miller and punter Harrison Smith.

Derek Mason is one of just two Vanderbilt head coaches to lead the Commodores to multiple postseason bowl appearances (2016 Independence Bowl; 2018 Texas Bowl).

• Mason’s staff has a different look in 2020 with six new assistant coaches: Tony Ball (wide receivers), Todd Fitch (offensive coordinator), Aaron Henry (cornerbacks), Ted Roof (defensive coordinator), Pete Rossomando (offensive line) and Kenechi Udeze (linebackers).