The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

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.

Behind Enemy Bylines: LSU Tigers

The Hustler went Behind Enemy Bylines and spoke to Natasha Malone, Sports Editor of The Reveille, to preview Vanderbilt’s upcoming matchup against the 20th-ranked LSU Tigers.
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Brent Szklaruk
Kalija Lipscomb rises up for a pass against LSU. (Hustler Multimedia/Brent Szklaruk)

Coming off a close 17-12 loss versus the No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies last week, Vanderbilt is looking to get into the win column Saturday at Home versus the No. 20 LSU Tigers. The Tigers are no different, as they enter Saturday’s contest a week removed from a 44-34 home loss versus unranked Mississippi State. Both teams will come into Saturday’s matchup looking for a fresh start, with the winner claiming its first game of the young season.

The Vanderbilt Hustler caught up with Natasha Malone, the sports editor of LSU’s student-run newspaper, The Reveille, to talk about the Tigers and get some insight into this weekend’s matchup. 

Vanderbilt Hustler: What’s the feeling surrounding LSU Football after a Week 1 upset loss versus Mississippi State? How do you expect this team to respond?

Natasha Malone: This team will not let one loss define its outlook for the season. LSU has a team full of fighters, and even though they may be young and inexperienced, they’ll definitely come out with a chip on their shoulders, ready to show what kind of team they’re capable of being this season.

It was an up-and-down opener from Myles Brennan last week. What should the Vanderbilt defense expect from him?

First off, Brennan needs to be cut some slack for last week’s performance. His performance was not as bad as people are making it out to be; he may not be Joe Burrow, but he certainly can perform at high levels. He might not have had the best numbers last week, but there certainly were many positives to take away from his performance. If there’s one thing I’ll say about Myles, it’s that he’s determined, and I believe he’ll show a great amount of leadership on the field this week.

How has this offense changed from the one we saw last season led by Joe Burrow and Justin Jefferson? 

The offense last year was about a lot more than just Burrow and Jefferson—the whole offense was well-rounded and had great depth, making replacing that this year not very likely. LSU will not put up as many points this year, but the scheme will not change very much. The loss of [former passing game coordinator] Joe Brady was huge for us, but Steve Ensminger has run the same type of offense and is challenging our young offense to put up those same numbers week-in and week-out. 

How has Ja’Marr Chase’s opt-out affected this offense? Tell us a bit about the guys behind him.

The loss of Ja’Marr was obviously a huge blow for the team. We’re all obviously happy he’s doing what is best for his future but losing the best wide receiver in the country would hurt any team tremendously. Coach Orgeron has emphasized the “next man up” mentality, and that’s definitely what has to happen this season. I expect Terrace Marshall to be Brennan’s go-to man. 

He was often overshadowed by Ja’Marr [Chase] and Justin [Jefferson], but he definitely has the ability to be as good as they were. A name to also watch out for is Racey McMath. He’s a physical guy who also did not get much playing time last year because of the guys in front of him, but he can be great for us this year. Lastly, we have a new tight end, freshman Arik Gilbert, who was the highest rated Tight End in 24/7 Sports recruiting history, and has already received high praise from [Head Coach] Ed Orgeron and made some great plays during Week One. Definitely look out for him as well. 

Ken Seals had a solid first career start versus the Texas A&M defense. How do you think Bo Pelini will try to limit the freshman quarterback?

Pelini will definitely bring the heat with his 4-3 defense; I would expect a lot of pressure from the front seven. Getting [cornerback] Derek Stingley Jr. back will help the defense make a lot of adjustments that they need to be successful this week. The front seven created a lot of pressure last week and forced many 3rd-and-long situations that we weren’t able to capitalize on. Jabril Cox and Ali Gaye are two names to keep an eye out for; they’ll most likely be the ones creating the most pressure up front.  

What is your prediction for the final score this weekend?

LSU 34, Vanderbilt 20.

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About the Contributors
Anish Mago
Anish Mago, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Anish Mago ('24) is from West Windsor, N.J., and is studying economics and political science in the College of Arts and Science. He previously served as a staff writer for the Sports section. When not writing for The Hustler, Anish enjoys playing basketball and rooting for all Philly sports. He can be reached at .
Brent Szklaruk, Former Staff Photographer
Brent Szklaruk ('21) can be reached at [email protected].
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