Editor’s note: Counting down to the start of Alabama football fall practice, SEC Country is taking a look at the Crimson Tide’s 2017 opponents.
Alabama vs. Vanderbilt
- When: Saturday, Sept. 23
- Kickoff time: TBA
- Where: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.
- TV: TBA
- Last meeting: Alabama defeated Vanderbilt 34-0 on Oct. 8, 2011
Vanderbilt at a glance
- Coach: Derek Mason
- 2016 record: 6-7, 3-5 SEC
Vanderbilt players to watch
Ralph Webb | RB
Webb is one of the few players who can make Alabama-Vanderbilt interesting. He rushed for 1,283 yards and 13 touchdowns a season ago.
It’ll be interesting to see if Vanderbilt’s offensive line can create holes for Webb against Alabama’s front seven when the teams meet in Week 4.
Oren Burks | LB
Burks is one of the SEC’s most versatile defenders, having started at three defensive positions for the Commodores: safety, outside linebacker and the unit’s featured Star hybrid role. This season, he is likely to fill Zach Cunningham’s vacancy at inside linebacker.
In 2016, Burks finished with 40 unassisted tackles, 59 total stops, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 quarterback sacks and an interception. Burks enters his final season as the Commodores’ active leader with 155 total tackles, 91 solo tackles and 4 interceptions.
Kyle Shurmur | QB
Shurmur has 18 career starts under his belt and enters the fall as one of the SEC’s most experienced signal callers. He threw for 2,409 yards and 9 touchdowns to 10 interceptions last season.
The game won’t be that great, but Alabama fans should be excited about the trip to Nashville for Alabama’s SEC road opener vs. Vanderbilt.
Nashville has a great bar scene and good restaurants for anyone looking to make the trip. This will be Alabama’s first trip to Nashville since 2007 so fans should enjoy this because it doesn’t happen often.
From a football standpoint, Vanderbilt, like most teams, will be outmatched by the Crimson Tide. Vanderbilt coach Mason is building a quality program, but the Commodores are a long way away from being able to compete with the elites in the SEC.
Alabama 27, Vanderbilt 6