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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Three Games to Watch: Week Five

Alabama beats Vanderbilt 59-0. Photo by Bruce Brookshire.

Following Vanderbilt’s 59-0 demoralizing loss against Alabama last Saturday, the Commodores hope to bounce back when they travel to Gainesville to play the Florida Gators. The Gators are coming off of two victories against Tennessee and Kentucky, both games came down to the final minutes. Vanderbilt will look to regain their powerful defense that helped them upset Kansas State as they go up against a Gator offense still struggling to find their identity.

This weekend of college football features several big SEC match-ups as well as multiple top-25 games. Here are three games to watch besides the Vanderbilt vs. Florida matchup.

Georgia (7) at Tennessee

This matchup might help distinguish the true leaders of the SEC East. Right now, Georgia seems to be at the front of the pack after impressive wins against Notre Dame and Mississippi State. However, teams other teams in the East including Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Florida also look competitive.

Georgia comes into this game undefeated and looking like one of the top teams in the nation after their beatdown of Mississippi State last weekend, a team that just had crushed LSU. The Bulldogs’ dynamic running back duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel have lived up to their hype so far this season. Chubb has rushed for 371 yards and six touchdowns while Michel, who has missed one game so far, has rushed for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, freshman quarterback Jake Fromm has looked outstanding through his four games, throwing for 650 yards and seven touchdowns with only one interception.

On the flip side, Tennessee is not off to a great start and coach Butch Jones is on the hot seat. In the first game of the season, the Volunteers staged a late comeback to defeat Georgia Tech in double overtime. Two weeks later, they looked unimpressive all game against Florida, but seemed like they would win the ugly game before giving up a Hail Mary as time expired to lose 26-20. Last Saturday, they struggled to defeat UMass, a team that is yet to win a game this year.

On paper, it seems as if this game will be a blowout by Georgia. However, because of this historic rivalry and the fact that is being played at Neyland Stadium, this game has the potential to be as exciting of a matchup as it was last year when the Volunteers completed an epic comeback on a Hail Mary on the final play.

Ole Miss at Alabama (1)

One of the most intriguing matchups of the last few years has been the Ole Miss-Alabama showdown. While the Crimson Tide have had little trouble with most other college football teams in recent years, Ole Miss has proven to be a tough challenge. The Rebels have won two of the last three meetings between the two teams.

Alabama looks as dominant as ever this year. With a tough win against Florida State and a blowout victory against Vanderbilt, the Crimson Tide are rolling on all cylinders. They rank seventh in the country in total defense and twenty-eighth in total offense. It seems as if Alabama is just in a different league than all the other college football teams.

Ole Miss has a bit of a different story this season compared to most of their others. Faced with postseason sanctions, the team has struggled at times especially defensively. They lost 27-16 to the unranked California Golden Bears and did not look overly impressive against two lesser opponents. Sophomore quarterback Shea Patterson has looked very good, throwing for 1,281 yards and seven touchdowns. However, he did throw three interceptions in the Rebels’ loss to the Golden Bears.

Alabama definitely looks like the superior team in this game, and they have home-field advantage. However, if there is one thing this SEC West rivalry has taught us, it’s that the games rarely go as predicted.

Clemson (2) at Virginia Tech (12)

While not an SEC game, this ACC game featuring two teams ranked in the top 15 is sure to be a fantastic match-up. Clemson has won the last four match-ups between the two teams. The last time these two teams played was last year in the ACC championship game where Clemson won in a close 42-35 game.

Clemson has shown through their first four games that they have the talent to repeat as champions. They demolished a talented Louisville team led by Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson and beat an Auburn team backed by a strong defense. Their powerful offense is led by dual-threat quarterback Kelly Bryant who has thrown for 873 yards and rushed for 268 for a combined nine touchdowns on the season.

Virginia Tech is undefeated through four games and looks impressive on both offense and defense. In week one, the team defeated a good West Virginia team 31-24. Since then, they have pitched two shutouts against lesser teams. The Hokies are also led by a dual-threat quarterback in Josh Jackson. The redshirt Freshman has thrown for 1127 yards, rushed for 144, and has accumulated twelve total touchdowns.

Clemson is the favorite to win this game, but Virginia Tech is a very well-coached team who will look to use their home-field advantage to pull off an upset.

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Muir
Alyssa Muir, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Alyssa Muir ('21) was Deputy Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. She majored in economics with minors in business and sociology. When she has free time, she can usually be found binge-watching Grey's Anatomy or rooting on her hometown teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning. For tips and comments, feel free to reach out to: [email protected].    
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