The Vanderbilt Commodores are legit, and they have the best wide receiver in the Southeastern Conference. Despite the fact that he deflected a pass that resulted in a game-sealing interception for Ole Miss, Jordan Matthews was without question the best player on the field in Vanderbilt Stadium in Week 1.
Matthews hauled in 10 receptions for 178 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown and a miraculous fourth-and-18 catch late in the game when all seemed lost for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt also seems to have plenty of viable options in the backfield, starting with quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, who was 21-of-36 for 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Rebels. The running back trio of Jerron Seymour, Wesley Tate and Brian Kimbrow combined for 119 yards and three touchdowns. This group executed well for most of the game and should continue to improve as the season goes on.
Despite giving up 39 points, the Vandy defense played pretty darn well. Seemingly gone are the days when SEC teams can hit autopilot and run the most basic of game plans against the Commodores. James Franklin continues to drive the program in a positive direction. This may be the year Vandy finally knocks off one of the giants in the league. This isn’t your father’s Vanderbilt.
What to look for in Week 2: A fast-forward button that allows you to skip the Week 2 snoozer against Austin Peay and get straight on to the Sept. 14 game at No. 6 South Carolina.