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Last Minute Gameday Study Guide: Week 2, Vanderbilt

There was no shortage of drama in Northwestern's 42-41 victory over Syracuse last week, but today, the stakes are raised as the Wildcats take on Vanderbilt, a tough SEC opponent hell bent on avoiding an 0-2 start after a hard-fought loss -- and a non-call on a clear pass interference penalty that sealed their fate -- to South Carolina left the Commodores feeling bitter over an encouraging but ultimately disappointing performance. If you thought week 1 was exciting, week 2 provides an early-season assessment point for an NU squad that, frankly, remains tough to gauge going forward after its up-and-down showing at the Carrier Dome. Tonight's action will provide some clarity into the Wildcats' prospects this season, and, like last week, we've got you covered with any last-minute opponent quandaries floating amid your pre-game thoughts. The good news is, this week you have all day to pour over our prep content in advance of tonight's eight p.m. kick. And on a day where college football's viewing schedule lacks for any and all intrigue, what better way to spend your Saturday morning-afternoon... (crickets)?

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We hope this post finds you in good temperament as you proceed through whatever gameday routine accompanies these precious fall Saturdays. Hopefully our preview material has you ready for the upcoming matchup, but in case you missed anything, below we’ve compiled a last-minute study guide for any opponent queries that may yet stand unresolved. It never hurts to get some last-minute cramming in before watching your beloved Wildcats in game action. That said, read up, and enjoy the game!

We can't claim to know every last minute detail about Vandy's gameplan and personnel rumblings, but we've compiled a nice list of links from which your Commodores information gathering can be completed.

Opinion and commentary on NU is enlightening and helpful, or so we've been led to believe. Take in some analysis from the other side: a Q&A with Jeff Lockridge of the Tennessean and Vanderbilt's SB Nation blog, Anchor of Gold.

Numerical analysis at its finest--Quantifying the Commodores in a simple and informative way.

Not familiar with the Commodores' personnel? Here's who to keep an eye on in tonight's showdown, plus analysis of Vandy's biggest strength, weakness and one player who might be (shhh) flying under the radar.

A well-versed crop of NU media collaborates on game picks. Scores and accompanying explanations included.

Football is a game won and lost at the margins, usually favoring the side who better integrates strong offensive, defensive and special teams play. Our take on which team has the "edge" in each phase of the game.