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Western Kentucky vs Vanderbilt live On Thursday, September 3

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The Vanderbilt-Western Kentucky season opener has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 3 and will feature a 7 p.m. CT kickoff from Vanderbilt Stadium, the SEC, ESPN and the SEC Network jointly announced Thursday.

The Vanderbilt-Western Kentucky game also will be the first college football game of the 2015 season on the SEC Network.

The announcement today also included a 3 p.m. CT kickoff for the Vanderbilt-Austin Peay game on Saturday, Sept. 19. It will air on the SEC Network Alternate channel.

Last month, CBS and the SEC announced that the Georgia-Vanderbilt game on Saturday, Sept. 12 will air before a CBS national audience at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Vanderbilt Head Coach Derek Mason said that playing the opener against Western Kentucky on Thursday night serves as a national showcase for his second Commodore squad.

“Playing in primetime on Thursday night is a tremendous opportunity to show our team, our university and the city of Nashville. I’m very excited about this announcement,” Vanderbilt Head Coach Derek Mason said. “It should be a great atmosphere, with Western Kentucky coming to campus with an excellent team that finished off last year with a bowl win.”

The Western Kentucky game will mark Vanderbilt’s fourth consecutive season opener played on Thursday night, following encounters against South Carolina in 2012, Ole Miss in 2013 and Temple in 2014.

“We are excited to once again usher in the start of college football,” said Vanderbilt Director of Athletics David Williams. “The Thursday opener against Western Kentucky will serve as a tremendous showcase for our university to a national audience.”

Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky have met just three times previously in football, with the Commodores holding a 3-0 series advantage. The last game between the Commodores and Hilltoppers, a 12-0 Vanderbilt win, came on campus in Nashville in 1938.

Vanderbilt returns 18 position starters and 51 returning letterwinners from a 3-9 2014.

Western Kentucky, entering its second year as a member of Conference USA, was 8-5 in 2014. They capped the year with an exciting victory in Bahamas Bowl. The Hilltoppers feature one of the nation’s most explosive offenses, with 2014 C-USA MVP Brand Doughty back at quarterback. In 2014, Doughty threw for 4,830 yards and 49 touchdowns.