September 27, 2013

Seven storylines for Saturday

Vanderbilt tries to get above .500 for the first time all season when UAB visits on Saturday. The Commodores are 20-point favorites. Here's what VandySports.com's Chris Lee will be watching for on Saturday night.

1. A fast start. Much has been made of VU's first-quarter woes, and for good reason: Vanderbilt has been out-scored 31-10 in the first period. Two weeks ago, South Carolina put so much distance between itself and VU that the Commodores couldn't recover. Last week, Vanderbilt actually posted its first first-quarter touchdown of the season, but couldn't manage another until the fourth quarter against a woeful UMass team.

Not to make excuses for Vandy, but there are explanations. Two weeks ago, Commodore players were still reeling from the Chris Boyd news, and, of course, the Gamecocks may well be a top-10 team. Last week, the 'Dores played in front of an uninspired crowd in a stadium that was 80 percent empty. This week, if VU starts slowly, there really are no more explanations.

A fast start on Saturday could go a long way towards the start of a "new season" approach for VU.




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