The Vanderbilt Commodores hope to improve to 2-0 on Saturday when they host the Alabama A&M Bulldogs of the Football Championship Subdivision. Here is your first look at Alabama A&M.
SEASON SO FAR
Alabama A&M opened its 2017 season on Saturday at UAB, falling 38-7. It was UAB's first actual game since dropping football a couple years ago. Last year UAB had a team and conducted team scrimmages during the season. The Bulldogs actually put up a fight in this one. They trailed just 10-7 at the half but UAB scored two back-to-back touchdowns late in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. One of those scores by UAB was a pick six. Alabama A&M's lone score came with 2:24 remaining in the second quarter when quarterback Aqeel Glass completed a 46-yard pass to Rod Randolph to knot the score at 7. Glass finished with 101 yards passing with one TD and one interception. A second QB, Damion May, completed 6 of 12 passes for 37 yards.
A&M, 0-1, finished the 2016 campaign with a 4-7 record. The 2017 team returns seven starters on offense and eight starters on defense. In the loss to UAB A&M's leading rusher was sophomore Joseph Burke who gained 33 yards on 10 carries. Defensively, Kenneth Davis, a 5-foot-11, 220-pound senior linebacker, had eight tackles and two sacks for the Bulldogs against the Blazers.
INJURIES AND SUSPENSIONS
Vanderbilt has never lost to an opponent that was a member of the Football Championship Subdivision or Division I-AA at the time Vanderbilt played them. Coming off an inspiring win, facing a lower division program the week before playing an FBS Top 25 team, things could be dangerous. It's easy to say that you are focused and ready for an opponent but we see teams like UNLV and Baylor fall to FCS teams after their players surely made similar comments. The fact is, it's just hard to get fired up for an inferior opponent. When that happens for the higher rated team to pull out a win they must exploit their superior size, strength, and athleticism. Vanderbilt has the ability to do this so they should be fine. The top priority is to win the game. Ideally, the Commodores should build a nice lead by halftime and be able to get some young guys in for reps, especially Deuce Wallace. But again, the bottom line is to win the darn game.
Saturday game kicks off at 3:00 CT. It will be shown on SEC Network Alternate, so good luck with that if you can't make it to the game.