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Vanderbilt hosts East Tennessee State to open season

The ‘Dores look to get off to a 1-0 start.

NCAA Football: Tennessee State at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vanderbilt Commodores open their season Saturday evening against East Tennessee State as the Commodores look to improve to 1-0 for the first time since 2018.

How to watch or stream

Time: 7 p.m. ET

Streaming: This game is only available via ESPN+, which you can sign up for HERE. It is not available on traditional television.


Let’s face it. the past few years for Vanderbilt have been rough. In seven seasons under Derek Mason, Vandy went 27-55 and 10-46 in conference play. In four of those seven seasons, the Commodores won fewer than two conference games. It was time for a chance and now it’s time for another first-time head coach in Clark Lea.

Lea is just 38 years old and played at Vanderbilt from 2002-04, and those are two things that could be seen as advantages both in the community and with players.

Despite Vandy not winning a game last season, quarterback Ken Seals really wasn’t all that bad. He had 12 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and completed 64% of his passes. If he’s able to develop a bit more this year, which he likely will, the Commodores will likely be able to find multiple victories this year.

Emotions will be running high for East Tennessee State, however. The Southern Conference did not play last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Bucs are taking the field for the first time since November 2019.