Vanderbilt is pitted against a tough Big 12 opponent before a daunting stretch in SEC play. The Commodores face No. 18 Kansas State in Nashville on Saturday.
Vanderbilt is looking to get off to its first 3-0 start since 2011. The team went on the road and took down Middle Tennessee State 28-6 before shutting out Alabama A&M 42-0.
Meanwhile, Kansas State beat Central Arkansas 55-19 in its opener before handling Charlotte 55-7. The Wildcats opened the season at No. 20 in the AP Top 25 and have moved up two spots since then.
Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup between the Commodores and Wildcats.
Vanderbilt football vs. Kansas State live updates, score
Which TV channel is Vanderbilt football vs. Kansas State on?
The Vanderbilt football game against Kansas State will air on ESPNU.
How can I watch Vanderbilt football vs. Kansas State online?
You can watch Vanderbilt football vs. Kansas State on WatchESPN.
How can I listen to Vanderbilt football vs. Kansas State on the radio?
Vanderbilt football vs. Kansas State preview, keys to the game
1. Can Kyle Shurmur build on his hot start?
Vanderbilt junior QB Kyle Shurmur has been pretty impressive so far this season, completing 76.1 percent of his passes for 498 yards, 7 TDs and 0 INTs. Just for some perspective, Shurmur only completed 54.4 percent of his throws to go with 9 TDs during his entire 2016 campaign. Kansas State didn’t allow either of its first two opponents to go for 200 yards, although Vanderbilt will be a step up in competition from Central Arkansas and Charlotte. Shurmur has spread the wealth, connecting with WR Kalija Lipscomb for 3 TDs, TE Jared Pinkney for 2 TDs and hitting WR Trent Sherfield and RB Ralph Webb for one apiece.
2. Will Derek Mason’s defense continue to get pressure?
Thr0ugh two games, the Commodores defense has been stellar at getting into the backfield. Vandy has already posted 8 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. Incredibly, those 8 sacks are already more than half the total Derek Mason‘s unit had in 2016 (15). Meanwhile, the 20 stops behind the line of scrimmage (10 in each game) ties Vandy with Auburn for the most in the SEC. Junior Charles Wright has gotten off to a fast start with 4 sacks. The Wildcats have only allowed 2 sacks and 7 tackles for loss through two games.
3. Does RB Ralph Webb finally explode?
Shurmur has gotten most of the attention, and understandably so, during the young season. However, it only seems like a matter of time before RB Ralph Webb makes his presence felt for the Commodores. The senior has only rushed for 103 yards, averaging 2.8 yards per carry. Last season, Webb went for a career-best 1,283 rushing yards (5.1 yards per rush). Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher (3,445 yards) is set to make his 40th straight start, and could he put a stamp on this one?