Tennessee State: A First Look

Vanderbilt hopes to experience back-to-back wins for the first time since 2013 on Saturday when the Commodores host Tennessee State. Here is your first look at the Tigers.


The Tigers (5-1) opened the season with a 44-0 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Nissan Stadium. State led 37-0 after three-quarters before calling off the dogs. The following week the Tigers downed rival Jackson State in Memphis before over 40,000 fans. In week 3 TSU traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla., and handled Bethune-Cookman 31-24 after falling behind early. After a bye week, the Tigers got off to a good start in October, beating UT-Martin 34-30 on the first day of the month. TSU trailed UTM 16-0 at the end of the first quarter but rallied to win. The Tigers suffered their fist loss of the season in a thriller at Eastern Illinois. TSU led 34-28 early in the fourth quarter but a late Eastern TD pass doomed the Tigers to a 35-34 loss. Most recently the Tigers beat Eastern Kentucky 35-28 on Saturday. In that game, the Tigers gave up 584 yards total offense to the 2-4 Colonels.  


Defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko, an All-OVC selection last season, did not play in EKU game and his status is uncertain for Vandy. Strong safety Trevion Duncan is another key player whose status is uncertain. He had 23 tackles and an interception in the first four games before missing the last two contests.  


Unlike some other SEC teams, the Commodores have never lost a game to an FCS opponent. Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss and Mississippi State have all lost to FCS teams, and Kentucky has a tie with an FCS team. Some sources report that Vanderbilt has an FCS loss, but that is incorrect. Vandy fell to current FCS member The Citadel back in 1979, but that program was still classified as FBC (Division IA) at the time. Coming off the elation of spoiling Georgia's homecoming, the Commodores will now have work to avoid suffering the same fate as the Bulldogs. TSU is a talented FCS team that has playmakers and could probably beat that Austin Peay team that the Commodores struggled for a while with last year by 30 points. I expect Vandy to come out running at the Tigers and then run it some more.  

Saturday's game kicks off at 6:30 pm CT and can be seen on ESPNU.  

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