Three Keys - Vanderbilt vs. Austin Peay

With last weekend firmly in the rear view mirror it is time to look ahead at the next opponent on the 'Dores schedule. While the name Austin Peay may not strike fear into the heart of Vanderbilt fans you only have to look back a week to see the damage that overconfidence, and under preparedness, can do.

With last weekend firmly in the rear view mirror it is time to look ahead at the next opponent on the 'Dores schedule. While the name Austin Peay may not strike fear into the heart of Vanderbilt fans you only have to look back a week to see the damage that overconfidence, and under preparedness, can do. No less than eight FCS schools took down FBS competition last week ranging from the stunning (Eastern Washington over Oregon State) to the embarrassing (McNeese State scoring 40 consecutive points in a 53-21 beat down of South Florida).

Here are three keys that will prevent any of the above happening to the Commodores.

1) Strike early

Austin Peay is not in the same ilk as the aforementioned Eastern Washington team or the North Dakota State squad which took down Kansas State. The Governors have one win over an FBS program in school history (again, Kansas State in 1987) and last week got hammered 45-0 by Tennessee in Knoxville. That loss doesn't even get close to showing the Vols domination either as they benched most of the starters when leading 42-0 at the break. Austin Peay are coming in expecting to lose this game. The best thing the 'Dores can do therefore is get on top early with a couple of quick touchdown drives and put this one to bed before anyone even starts thinking upset.

2) Find a secondary playmaker

We all know Jordan Matthews is a stud. What the 'Dores now need is to find a second player they can rely on when the going gets tough. Though this won't be important for this weekend, the ability for somebody to take all the focus off of Matthews is going to be vital against the likes of Florida and South Carolina. Ideally both a receiver and a running back will step to the fore and make their claim to be that guy, suddenly giving the Commodores a wealth of game breaking options.

3) Rest the starters

This is a long, long season. The starters will need to be fresh and ready down the road for that crazy SEC schedule. Thus it would be to the Commodores advantage if the majority of the starting cast was off of the field before half time. I want to see Jordan Matthews getting involved early to make sure there are no issues after pukegate, then I want him out. I want to see Austyn Carta-Samuels looking steady in the pocket and spreading the ball around for a few drives, then I want him out. This is a game to find new contributors in the second half and thankfully James Franklin knows as much.

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