Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt will make its second appearance ever on ESPNU when the Commodores travel to Miami (Ohio) for the 2008 season opener on Thursday, August 28. Kickoff for the Vanderbilt-Miami (Ohio) opener has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m., CT. The game will be played at Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio.
The Commodores' only previous appearance on ESPNU came in 2005 when Vanderbilt and Wake Forest played in the first major college football game aired on ESPNU. The Commodores defeating Wake Forest 24-20 on a last-minute scoring drive directed by quarterback Jay Cutler. That game, also contested on a Thursday night, was played in Winston-Salem, N.C.
This year, the Commodores will open with a pair of Thursday night games. After traveling to Ohio to play the Redhawks, the Commodores return to campus on Sept. 4 to host Southeastern Conference East Division foe South Carolina. It marks the first time in Vanderbilt team history that the Commodores will open with two games on Thursday night.
Vanderbilt and Miami (Ohio), coached by Shane Montgomery, renewed their series last year, with Vanderbilt earning a hard-fought 24-13 victory in Nashville on Oct. 27. The Commodores, playing one week after defeating then-No. 6 South Carolina in Columbia, had to overcome a 13-10 third-quarter deficit to defeat the Redhawks. The victory was sparked by a 290-yard rushing output and three defensive turnovers by the Commodores.
Word of a national television appearance to open the season pleased Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson.
"I'm very happy to hear that ESPNU will showcase our game against Miami (Ohio) to open their college football coverage for the upcoming season," Johnson said. "It should be a very exciting game for their audience. I know it will be a big challenge for our team, just like last year's game against Miami."
Vanderbilt will be making its first appearance in the state of Ohio in 14 years when it faces Miami. In its most recent game in the state, Vanderbilt defeated Cincinnati 34-24 on Oct. 8, 1994. The Commodores are 3-3 all-time in games played in Ohio: 2-1 vs. Cincinnati and 1-2 vs. Ohio State.
After the two Thursday night games to open the season, the Commodores will host three other SEC opponents in Vanderbilt Stadium: Auburn on Oct. 4; Florida on Nov. 8 and Tennessee on Nov. 22. Vanderbilt's two non-SEC home games are Rice, Sept. 13; and Duke, Oct. 25.
Besides traveling to Ohio for the opener, the Commodore schedule includes trips to Ole Miss, Sept. 20; Mississippi State, Oct. 11; Georgia, Oct. 18; Kentucky, Nov. 15; and Wake Forest, Nov. 29.
Vanderbilt season tickets starting as low as $99 are available for the six-game home schedule. For information, go to www.vucommodores.com or phone (615) 322-GOLD. The Vanderbilt Athletic Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday in McGugin Center, located on Jess Neely Drive across from Vanderbilt Stadium.