We’ve been waiting all day, and it’s finally here. It’s game time.
Last year’s non-conference road trip could’ve gone better for the Cats. Stanford was a tough-out regardless of time of the year, but having it game one with a young team was especially unhelpful.
Tonight’s game shouldn’t be that difficult, but not because of the quality of opponent. The Cats have two full games under their belt, and return nearly every start on offense from 2016, as well as over 50% on defense. And while Vandy is no Stanford, the Commodores are still a good team that has started the year, like K-State, with two victories over lower-level competition.
The Cats are favored by the odds-makers, and for a road contest in ESS-EEE-CEE country that’s a big deal. Though it’s not expected to be much of a road games, as late reports indicate Wildcat fans number well over 15,000, and could easily approach 20k, or nearly half the capacity of Vanderbilt Stadium.
Regardless, Jesse Ertz and D.J. Reed will have their guys ready to play. This is an important game for both teams, a win for the Wildcats sets them up with the right momentum to head into Homecoming against Oklahoma in late October with an undefeated record. A Loss and the Cats are likely headed for a season much like last year.
But the latter does not seem likely for this group.
Keep an eye out for the progression of the linebacker corps. They are arguably the weakest unit for the Wildcats, and the Wildcat secondary could be taking on quite a load if the linebackers can’t help get pressure on Vandy QB Kyle Shurmur or keep RB Ralph Webb from getting past the front seven. It’s been a bit of an issue against weaker competition, let’s hope the linebackers are ready for the challenge.
Be sure and check out our pregame content, starting with TB’s Kicking the Tires review of the Commodres, all-important How to Watch information from Jon, as well as a little fun trash-talk from our very own AMS.