Vanderbilt football visits Mississippi State on Saturday in Starkville. Here are your three keys to a Commodore win.
By Don Yates
1. Tune out the cow bells
Mississippi State has a tradition of the fans bringing cowbells to games and ringing those bells when the Bulldogs make a big play or the opponent is on offense. The SEC passed a rule well over a decade ago that no artificial noise devices could be used during games, except for the cowbells at Mississippi State. It’s pretty ridiculous that one team is exempted from the rules, while other teams are forced to suffer a disadvantage when they visit Starkville. Really though, everywhere in the SEC is noisy, whether it is cowbells or yelling and screaming voices. But the bells are unique and can be irritating so maybe the Vandy staff should at least play some audio of cowbells clanking during practice sessions to get ready.
2. Win the first quarter
So far this season Vandy has been outscored by a combined 38-3 tally in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Commodores have fallen by just 10 (33-23), in the third opponents lead 58-14 while in the fourth the score is 24-7 in the opponent’s favor. One field goal in four first quarters is pitiful. The Commodores need to come out in force and get on the scoreboard and hopefully pick up a couple of scores in the first stanza. That might demoralize an already downcast Mississippi State team and would definitely give Vandy momentum.
3. Contain Osirus
Osirus Mitchell is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound wide receiver for Mississippi State. He’s not the top man in catches but he’s very dangerous when he does make catches. State has eight different receivers who have double-digit catches. Mitchell has 22 receptions which are the third-most on the team. However, he leads the team in yards per catch (13.8) and touchdown receptions (2). He’s definitely a guy you want to focus on during third-down situations.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). You can watch this Vanderbilt football game on the SEC Network.