One of Vanderbilt’s biggest games in school history is around the corner as No. 1 Alabama rolls into Nashville for a 2:30 PM kickoff on Saturday.

The Commodores are looking to topple the Crimson Tide for the first time since 1984 and the first time at home since 1969.

Both teams come in with 3-0 overall records and want to get their first conference win of the season.

During Wednesday’s edition of The Gary Harris Show, WKRN-TV sports reporter Kayla Anderson previewed the big game on Vanderbilt’s campus along with the excitement being felt in Nashville.

Since the arrival of Tennessee Titans football in Nashville in 1998, Vanderbilt football has struggled to gain fan interest within the city. Anderson detailed the challenges that the program faces in their home city.

“I think that they always are almost second to everything here in this city when it comes to football. They’re second even to the Tennessee Volunteers, let’s face it. Those Volunteers fans are strong here in this city.” Anderson said.

Thanks to a 3-0 start including a 14-7 win over Kansas State, Anderson described the enthusiasm surrounding the Vanderbilt football program under Derek Mason.

“However, they have a lot to be excited about and if I were a Vandy fan, having Derek Mason as my head coach and seeing just what he’s done with this program and just knowing the type of guy he is, he pumps me up as a reporter. The guy just has so much life to him, and these players love it.” Anderson said.

Defense has been a strength for Vanderbilt as they lead college football in passing defense, scoring defense and total defense. While their critics point to a soft season opening schedule, Anderson thinks that the defense can continue to progress this season.

“I don’t think this is something where you can look at them and say, ‘Oh, well maybe for now they’re good, but halfway through the season, they are going to die off.’ I think they’re going to get better.” Anderson said.

While Jalen Hurts has not thrown an interception in 2017, the same can be said for Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur. The junior signal caller has completed 71 percent of his passes for 703 yards along with eight touchdowns.

The WKRN-TV sportscaster discussed Kyle Shurmur’s improvement as the quarterback for the Commodores along with her observation of why he has grown as an SEC signal caller.

“He seems to just have a confidence now about himself, and it’s not maybe second guessing himself when he goes out there now. He’s just going out there and doing what he needs to do.” Anderson mentioned.

According to Anderson, Vanderbilt’s ability to protect Shurmur in passing situations could be a big factor in Saturday’s game.

“How can this offensive line protect him?” Anderson asked. “Are they going to protect him so he can actually make those throws?”

Later in the conversation, Anderson explored the reasons for running back Ralph Webb’s early season struggles along with Vanderbilt football’s potential to sustain success under Derek Mason.

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