A look back: Crimson Tide vs Commodores throughout the years

Deana Nichols, Contributing Writer

The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) will play its first conference game of the 2022 season on its home field this Saturday, taking on the unranked Vanderbilt Commodores (3-1). This will be the first time the teams have faced off since 2017, when the Crimson Tide destroyed the Commodores 59-0 in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt has not come up with a winning season since, compiling a 14-41 record since the matchup. 

In the 84 times these teams have faced each other since 1903, Alabama has defeated Vanderbilt 62 times, falling to them 18 times and tying seven times. The last time the Commodores were able to pull an upset against the Crimson Tide was in 1984 under head coach Ray Perkins, with Vanderbilt winning 30-21.  

During the Saban era, Alabama has only taken on Vanderbilt three times — 2007, 2011 and 2017. The Crimson Tide has scored a total of 117 points and held the Commodores to only 10 points. Those 10 points were scored solely during the 2007 matchup. 

The 2007 game happened to be Nick Saban’s second game as Alabama’s head coach and his first road victory. The stadium had a capacity of 39,773 and was filled mostly with Crimson Tide fans. Freshman running back Terry Grant ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Alabama only allowed Vanderbilt to score three points in the first quarter and a touchdown in the fourth leading to the 24-10 final score. 

The next time the two teams met, in 2011, Alabama beat Vanderbilt 34-0 in Tuscaloosa. Sophomore quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 237 yards and four touchdowns. The Crimson Tide defense held the Commodores offense to a total of 190 yards and didn’t allow for them to pass midfield in the second half. Alabama went on to lose only one game that season and win the 2012 BCS National Championship over LSU.  

In 2017, a massacre occurred on a football field in middle Tennessee. Saban’s Crimson Tide won 59-0 behind 677 yards of offense in comparison to Vanderbilt’s 78. Junior running back Damien Harris led the team with 151 yards on just 12 carries for three touchdowns. Freshman Tua Tagovailoa played in just the second half and accumulated 103 yards and two touchdowns.  

This year’s edition will be at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]