The Alabama Crimson Tide will ease into SEC play on Saturday when they face the Vanderbilt Commodores, a team it has dominated over the years. The Crimson Tide employed all three facets in walking over Louisiana-Monroe 63-7 in their last game and a similar scoreline could be in the offing against the Commodores. Alabama scored three non-offensive touchdowns and broke a long-held school record in punt return yardage, leaving coach Nick Saban hopeful that his team may yet reach the program’s lofty standards. “There’s some evidence out there that this is the standard we want to play to,” Saban, who is 14-1 in SEC openers with Tide, told the media.
The Commodores have been buoyed by the play of freshman quarterback AJ Swann, who has completed 63% of his passes and has yet to throw an interception. The Georgia native played sparingly in the first game and not at all in the second, but his time on the field has increased in the last two contests to the point he is now the starting quarterback. Swann threw for 255 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s win over Northern Illinois and now gets to measure himself against Alabama. “There is no stage too big,” Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea told the media of Swann. “He’s shown it from the day he set foot on campus. He’s going to have to grow a lot. I have a lot of trust in him.”
Alabama Crimson Tide
Running back Jahmyr Gibbs led the Crimson Tide in receiving for the second straight game, giving him 13 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the last two contests. The Crimson Tide continued to look for different options in the passing game and against Louisiana-Monroe it was a pair of tight ends in Cameron Latu and Amari Niblack, who made his first career reception a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, Will Anderson, Jr. netted his second sack of the season, moving him to within two of tying Jonathan Allen (28.5) for second on Alabama’s all-time list. Derrick Thomas’ record of 52 sacks will likely stand for a long time, although his mark for tackles for loss (68) isn’t quite so out of reach. Anderson, a junior who has 49.5 career tackles for loss, also had his first interception return for a touchdown.
The Commodores have one of the nation’s top rushing attacks but they will lose some of that with Swann replacing Mike Wright at quarterback. Wright was the second leading rusher with 264 yards and four touchdowns. That will leave the bulk of the running to Re’Mahn Davis, who has accounted for 362 yards and three touchdowns, and Chase Gillespie, who will be facing an Alabama defense ranked in the top 20 in the FBS against the run. The Crimson Tide have permitted just 2.2 yards per carry and 78.7 yards per game. The top target in the receiving game has been Will Sheppard, who leads the nation with seven receiving touchdowns and is 15th with 313 receiving yards. The Louisiana native went for career highs of 10 receptions and 171 yards against Northern Illinois while also hauling in two touchdowns for the third time this season.
Vanderbilt vs Alabama Injury Report
Alabama defensive back Khyree Jackson is questionable with an ankle injury.
Vanderbilt vs Alabama Head-to-Head
For a pair of conference foes, the Crimson Tide and the Commodores are practically strangers, having not played since 2017. Alabama has won 22 straight games against Vanderbilt and outscored them 93-0 in the last two meetings combined.
The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series 62-18-4 and haven’t lost to the Commodores since 1984. Alabama is 54-7 in SEC home games under Saban
Vanderbilt vs Alabama Game Information
- Game: Vanderbilt vs Alabama
- Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- Day/Time: Saturday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Vanderbilt vs Alabama Live Stream: ESPN
Vanderbilt vs Alabama Betting Lines
Vanderbilt vs Alabama Prediction
The Crimson Tide are 41-point favorites on the college football lines. They haven’t covered that many points in an SEC game since beating Kentucky by 60 and Arkansas by 49 in 2020. Lay the points on the Tide facing a freshman QB.