The Vanderbilt Commodores visit Texas A&M on Saturday evening in the opener for both teams. Here are your three keys to a Commodore victory over the Aggies.
By Don Yates
1- Keep things basic
Spring practice was cut short and then during preseason practice there was a pause on thrills. Simply put, neither team is likely as ready as normally would be the case in a world without a pandemic. We’ve seen some disasters so far in season openers this season. Like Navy being destroyed 55-3 by BYU in the Mids’ opener. In that case, Navy just hadn’t done much of any full-contact work in practice. If the Commodores try to be too complex in College Station there will likely be many miscues which can allow things like fumbles, pick-sixes and other play shortcomings. Keep it simple and just play basic hard-nosed football.
2- Feed Cam Johnson
Cam Johson is a dynamic wide receiver for the Commodores. The redshirt sophomore from Nashville caught 30 passes for over 300 yards in 2019. When people think of Vanderbilt they envision a team of 1 and 2-star players. Cam Johnson was a 4-star prospect who turned down offers from teams like LSU and Auburn to be a Commodore. He has the tools to make the catch and then get to the end zone. That’s why power conference teams wanted him. Vandy needs him to touch the ball at least 10 times on Saturday. When you put the ball in the hands of playmakers good things can happen, like upset wins over Texas A&M.
3- Believe in yourself and team
As usual, few of the preseason prognosticators give Vanderbilt a snowballs chance to win even a single game this season. This is nothing new. Even before James Franklin’s very successful second and third seasons at Vandy the Commodores were still being picked at the bottom of the SEC. The Vandy players need to shrug off that garbage and just play football. It’s a game and anything can happen, including Vanderbilt winning.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Alternate Network.