Vanderbilt, Mason eager for chance against No. 1 Alabama


Vanderbilt squared off with Georgia Tech in a non-conference game a season ago, and are fresh off a hard-fought win against the Big 12's Kansas State Wildcats. Alabama had 677 yards of total offense - the second most in a game in school history. Shurmur, who threw nine touchdowns all of last season, posted a career-best four touchdowns two weeks ago against Alabama A&M, and now sits 9th in Vanderbilt record books with 22 career touchdowns.

Alabama, which hasn't lost in Nashville to Vanderbilt since 1969, is focused on tuning up after a 41-23 win over Colorado State where Saban put his first-team offense back on the field to finish off the win. Vanderbilt had more penalties (five) than first downs (three). The Crimson Tide also set a school record with 38 first downs, topping the 36 earned November 22, 2014, against Western Carolina.

Mix that with a defense that's the nation's stingiest in points, yards and against the pass, it's a combination Alabama coach Nick Saban appreciates. And that is pretty much it for Crimson Tide blackmarks. "I guess we felt like we didn't have the respect that we kind of wanted coming into the game, so we just came out and came out here and tried to play Alabama football".

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Bama passed for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also passed for 78 yards while completing nine-of-17 passes.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt has 49 total yards and two turnovers. With a somewhat suspect run defense, at least compared to the other parts of Vandy's defense, Hurts should have plenty of opportunities to take off and run against the Commodores, which should then open up the other parts of the offense. Ronnie Harrison intercepted a tipped pass that ended Vanderbilt's opening drive. As a natural dual-threat quarterback with instinctive running ability, Hurts now ranks fourth in the SEC with 312 rushing yards and ranks first in the conference averaging 8.67 yards per carry. It was the first interception that Commodores QB Kyle Shurmur had thrown this season. Against Alabama, Vandy did not look anywhere near a top defense in FBS. The Commodores had allowed just 13 points combined through three games, yet they proved no match against Alabama's dominating ground game.



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