Vanderbilt (0-1) at Colorado State (0-1); 8 p.m. Saturday, at Canvas Stadium
TV/Radio: CBS Sports Network/1430 AM, 98.1 FM
Line: CSU -7, 51 over/under
Weather: 20% chance of thunderstorms, 72 degrees
What to know
Biggest losers. Colorado State and Vanderbilt were among a record six college football teams in Week 1 defeated by lower-division FCS opponents. The Commodores were 21.5-point favorites over East Tennessee State and lost 23-3. The Rams were -3 vs. South Dakota State and fell 42-23. It’s a bad look for two programs desperate for football relevancy. Vanderbilt is an SEC laughingstock with an 8-39 conference record over the past five years. CSU hasn’t won the Mountain West since 2002. Both teams are motivated to save their seasons.
Orange Out. CSU is celebrating its farm roots for Ag Day with alternative helmets that feature a retro 1960s Rams head logo. Fans are encouraged to wear orange to honor the school’s original color scheme. For the season opener, Canvas Stadium was rocking with 32,000-plus in attendance at kickoff. But those same fans hit the exits in droves after halftime with the Rams trailing big. CSU spent $220 million on a new football stadium. But that doesn’t mean much without people in the seats.
Trey day. The biggest positive from CSU’s first game debacle was the standout performance of tight end Trey McBride. The Fort Morgan native was phenomenal with 13 catches for 116 yards. McBride also leveraged his 6-foot-4, 260-pound frame to smother opponents as a blocker. It’s easy to understand why he’s the top-rated tight end on Todd McShay’s latest NFL Draft Big Board. McBride is in line for another big day against a below-average Vanderbilt secondary.
New direction. Vanderbilt fired head coach Derek Mason last November after he posted a 27-55 record over seven seasons. The Commodores hired Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea to take over this year. Lea, 39, is a Nashville native and former Vanderbilt walk-on fullback. He earned two degrees from the school. But establishing a consistent winner has never been easy at an elite academic institution playing in the toughest conference in college football. Lea is already off to a rough start.
CSU D-line vs. Commodore offense. The Rams’ front seven, considered a major team strength entering the year, did not record a sack and got torched for 7.1 yards per carry in Week 1. CSU has ample opportunity to rebound against a Vanderbilt offense that could muster only a field goal in its season-opening loss.
CSU QB Todd Centeio vs. Commodore defense. Centeio was mostly solid against SDSU at 29-for-42 passing for 304 yards, one touchdown and zero picks. Look for the 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior to build on that performance against Vanderbilt. The Commodores are poor against the pass.
Kyle Fredrickson, sports reporter: CSU 17, Vandy 10
Don’t give Steve Addazio too much credit for beating a team that should be playing in the FCS.
Sean Keeler, sports columnist: CSU 28, Vandy 23
Desperation, meet Daz. Are the ‘Dores the only thing standing between the Rams and an 0-4 September?
Matt Schubert, deputy sports editor: CSU 31, Vandy 21
As bad as the Rams were vs. South Dakota State, Vandy was even worse vs. ETSU.