Commodore football’s 2017 schedule released


Ziyi Liu

The Commodores take the field before Vanderbilt defeated the MTSU Blue Raiders 47-24 at Vanderbilt Stadium September 10, 2016.

Robbie Weinstein, Sports Editor

While the 2016 Commodore football team began its own campaign a mere two weeks ago, the ‘Dores now know their 2017 schedule after the SEC released every team’s slate Tuesday night.

Vanderbilt returns to a seven-five home-road game split in 2017 after two straight seasons with six home and six road games. Head coach Derek Mason has three home non-conference games lined up, against Alabama A&M, Kansas State and Western Kentucky.

In a departure from previous seasons, VU starts its campaign with a trip to Murfreesboro to face Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 2. The Saturday opener marks the first non-Thursday season debut for Vanderbilt since 2011 and the first time starting on the road since 2008. Each of the Commodores’ 12 regular-season games fall on Saturdays in 2017.

The most notable home game on the schedule is inarguably a Sept. 23 showdown against Alabama. With the SEC’s rotating interdivision schedule, the ‘Dores haven’t hosted the Crimson Tide since 2007. VU will hope to break a 21-game losing streak against ‘Bama, with its last win having come in 1984 as the Commodores claimed a 30-21 victory in Tuscaloosa.

Rounding out the home slate are an Oct. 7 game against Georgia, a Nov. 11 matchup with Kentucky and a Nov. 18 Senior Day finale against Missouri.

Vanderbilt heads to Knoxville to end its regular season against in-state rival Tennessee Nov. 25; other SEC road games include a Sept. 30 visit to Florida, an Oct. 14 trip to Ole Miss and an Oct. 28 rematch with South Carolina, which defeated the Commodores 13-10 in the teams’ 2016 opener.

Times and TV coverage for the games have yet to be announced.