East Tennessee State Buccaneers at Vanderbilt Commodores (ESPN+, SECN+)
Saturday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. ET; Vanderbilt Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.
We’re back to another FBS vs. FCS game, and it involves another SEC East team undergoing a coaching change. In fact, Tennessee football is the only program in the East undergoing a coaching change who will not be facing an FCS team for its opener.
The Vanderbilt Commodores have moved on from Derek Mason after seven years and an 0-9 2020 campaign, but they still went the defensive route with their new hire, luring Clark Lea from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Lea is a Vandy grad and inherits a mess, but at least he has an FCS foe for his first game to give his team some confidence.
On the other side, this is an ETSU Bucs team that went 4-2 under Randy Sanders last year. The former UT offensive coordinator has a history of dominating Vandy, and he actually has a team that could be a threat to pull off the upset here.
It’s a shame there’s no line for this game, as this is an FBS-FCS game that could be close. In fact it will. Our money is still on Vandy to pull out the victory, but don’t be surprised if ETSU makes this close. The Bucs have a lot of experience and the right coaching to do that.
Vanderbilt: 24 ETSU: 17