Friday, September 11, 2009

VSL's LSU/Vanderbilt Preview

Vanderbilt travels to LSU this weekend, never a fun road-trip, but even more ominous when the game kicks-off after dark. 0-2 for the Commodores, who meet LSU on ESPNU at 6:30. As Stanimal highlighted, LSU has only 59 losses, compared to 209 wins for a winning percentage of .776 when playing under the lights.

Vanderbilt will arrive in Baton Rouge this afternoon, practice and take the rest of the evening off, including catching a movie, according to Jeff Lockridge's piece in today's Tennessean. More from Lockridge: "Senior tailback Jared Hawkins (foot) and freshman cornerback Eric Samuels (ankle) will not dress for the game." After Larry Smith went down with stomach cramps in the 3rd quarter of last Saturday's game, the training staff has focused on keeping him hydrated. The result: an increase in bathroom breaks.

David Boclair highlights the contributions of freshmen on the defensive side of the ball in today's Nashville City Paper, specifically defensive backs Eric Samuels, Eddie Foster and Trey Wilson. As noted above, Samuels will not be dressing.

Boclair double-dips in the City Paper highlighting the similarities between Larry Smith and LSU QB Jordan Jefferson. Both saw playing time late in the season and started in their team's respective bowl wins. The match-up between these young QB's will certainly be one to watch.

The Vanderbilt Hustler's David Schochat asks "Who's got the Edge?" in this Saturday's game. Schochat gives LSU the edge at QB, running back, wide receiver, and Special Team; Vanderbilt the edge at tight end, offensive line, in the secondary, and on the side lines. He calls the linebacking corps and defensive lines a push. As Schochat notes, but Seamus fully explored earlier this week, the match-up to watch is LSU's WR Terrance Toliver and Commodore CB Myron Lewis.

Perhaps the biggest concern for Commodore fans (besides the hostile environment) has to be LSU's two senior running backs Charles Scott and Keiland Williams. These two big backs (234 lbs. and 220 lbs. respectively), have both an experience and size advantage over VU's freshman Zac Stacy and Warren Norman. The real question is how well these freshmen respond to their first time on such a big stage.

Vanderbilt is currently a 14.5 point underdog with an over/under of 45. SECRivals explores the line. The panel has 4 of 5 taking the over, but only 2 of 5 taking LSU and the points.

Be sure to check back with VSL throughout the day and tomorrow. Check out our picks on SECRivals.com for what should be a very good weekend of football. We're going to try out some new technology that will vastly improve our live-blogging and give you a chance to weigh in. In the meantime, happy Friday.

3 comments:

Justin said...

I'm a Vandy alum but teach at LSU. People here were pretty pissed at the football team's performance in Seattle; it's hard to imagine LSU will come out of the gates slow -- unless they really aren't better than last week showed.

As for the environment, it is going to be tough for us. We hardly ever play LSU, so even our veterans won't know what to expect -- and yes, it's different here. A terrific opposing fan's story of a day at Death Valley can be found on the Florida blog Everyday Should Be Saturday. Scary but true.

I hope to hell we win.

AD said...

Agree with Justin. Hoping Smith retains both his electrolytes and Vanderbilt's shot (however slim) at winning this game.

Looking forward to the live blog.

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