Early in the second quarter of Vanderbilt's game Thursday night against Temple, one of the officials announced that Commodores would be losing a timeout in each quarter because they had "Anchor Down" on the back of each player's jersey instead of each player's name. Unless you get permission for that beforehand, it's against the rules.
But Vanderbilt had gotten it cleared beforehand, and had an email from Steve Shaw to prove it. The Commodores showed the referees the email, didn't lose their timeouts, and a few moments later recovered a botched Temple snap in the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.
It was all downhill from there.
The Commodores ended up getting pulverized at home -- by Temple. Vanderbilt had seven turnovers in the game, averaged 1.9 yards a carry on the ground and used all three of their potential starting quarterbacks in a desperate and ultimately futile attempt to find something that would work. Johnny McCrary ended up going 0-of-3 with two interceptions in his limited action. The game was as close to a total disaster as it could be.
Which means that Derek Mason and Vanderbilt are probably in for a very long season. It's one thing to get blown out by Texas A&M, as South Carolina was Thursday; it's quite another thing to get blown out by Temple. First games are first games, but unless there's something to Vanderbilt that we didn't see Thursday, it's going to be a very long season in Nashville.