College Corner: Vanderbilt Football, MTSU vs. Memphis, Vanderbilt Basketball

Vanderbilt’s Wright, Bresnahan, Orji Named To Pre-Season Watch Lists

Mike Wright. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

College football season is a little over a month away and Vanderbilt standouts Mike Wright, Ben Bresnahan and Anfernee Orji have been named to multiple pre-season watch lists.

Wright earned a spot on the Maxwell Award watch list, given to the player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club, while Bresnahan has been named to the Mackey Award watch list and selected as a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Orji was picked to the Butkus Award watch list, given to the nation’s best linebacker by the Butkus Foundation.

As quarterback in 2021, Wright eclipsed 1,000 passing yards with eight touchdowns, while also rushing for just shy of 400 yards in five games. In his first collegiate start at South Carolina, he threw for 206 yards and ran for 43 while falling one point shy of a victory.

Bresnahan has appeared in 31 games during his time in Nashville, making 20 starts. In that time, he’s caught 45 passes for 509 yards and four touchdowns. Bresnahan’s most productive season was 2020 when he caught 80 percent of passes thrown to him and was rated as one of the top 10 tight ends in the SEC per pro football focus.

Orji led the Commodores with 93 total tackles a season ago, while also pacing the team with 13 tackles for loss. He started all 12 games and finished 12th in the SEC in total tackles. His 13 tackles in the victory at Colorado State were the most by a Vandy player in a single game last season.



MTSU Football Agrees To Home-And-Home Series With Memphis

Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis have agreed on a home-and-home football series, as announced jointly by both schools on Tuesday (July 26).

The first game is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2024 in Memphis before the two teams square off a second time on Sept. 25, 2027 in Murfreesboro.

“We are very excited to add Middle Tennessee to our future schedules,” says Memphis head football coach Ryan Silverfield. “Anytime you have the opportunity to play an in-state opponent, it makes sense from a recruiting and logistical standpoint. MTSU has a great tradition and we look forward to playing them in years to come.”

The two teams have played 27 times since their very first meeting in 1925 with the Blue Raiders owning a 17-9-1 advantage. The Blue Raiders and Tigers last met during a six-year stretch from 2009 until 2014 with three games in Murfreesboro and three in Memphis.

MTSU finished its 2021 season 7-6 overall and 4-4 in conference with a home record of 4-1. They kickoff the 2022 season on Sept. 3 at James Madison University and at Colorado State on Sept. 10 before returning home to face TSU on Sept. 17.



Vanderbilt To Face St. Mary’s In The Paycom Wooden Legacy Tournament

Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt men’s basketball is set to play mid-major powerhouse St. Mary’s at the The Paycom Wooden Legacy in November.

The event, which will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena in California, will begin Nov. 23 with Washington taking on Fresno State before the Commodores battle the 2021 WCC runner-ups on ESPN2. 

The Nov. 24 schedule includes the third-place game on ESPNU followed by the championship game on ESPN2.

In 2021-22, Vandy had one of its best seasons in a number of years behind coach Jerry Stackhouse. They finished the season 19-17, picking up two wins in the SEC Tournament against Georgia and Alabama. They went on to run in the NIT beating Belmont and Dayton before falling to the eventual champions Xavier in the tournament’s quarterfinal.

Steven Boero