Friday, August 29, 2008

Commodore Banter: Morning After Edition

I think Brett Hait of The Nashville City Paper summed up Vanderbilt's season-opening victory over Miami (Ohio) best: "For at least one week, Chris Nickson proved he was the right choice to be Vanderbilt’s quarterback."

Nickson rushed for a career-high 166 yards, the second-most ever by a Vanderbilt quarterback and the most by any Commodore since tailback Lew Thomas gained 173 yards in 2001.

“He’s back,” said Vanderbilt safety Reshard Langford of Nickson. “He’s going to carry this team and carry this offense.”

I think next Thursday's match-up with South Carolina will indicate whether Nickson is truly back, but there's no denying that the fifth-year looked good.

"That's why we had him in there," Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson told The Tennessean. "He can throw the ball and he can run the ball, all sort of different ways. Sometimes it was scrambling. Sometimes it was designed runs. He just makes people miss."

Although Vegas listed them as 3.5-point underdogs, the Commodores were supposed to win last night, but I doubt many expected them to do so in such convincing fashion. It was Vanderbilt's biggest road victory since defeating Army 41-10 on Nov. 2, 1991.

The general rule of thumb for punt returners is to never catch anything inside your own 10-yard line. That rule doesn't apply to D.J. Moore, who had a 91-yard punt return to go along with an interception, sack and forced fumble.

"Those kind of guys, you just don't overcoach them," Johnson said. "If he thinks he can catch the ball and go with it, we're probably going to let him do it."

In his notebook, Mo Patton writes that a number of Commodores made their debuts against the Redhawks.

In Hait's notebook, he makes a number of good points:

*On Moore's versatility, Johnson said, "I don’t know if he’s superhuman, but he’s in fantastic shape. I ask him if he’s tired and needs to come out. He just smiles and says no.”

*Vanderbilt didn't like being an underdog.
“We weren’t offended, but it caught a lot of guys’ attention, coming from the SEC,” Langford said.

*Senior running back Jeff Jennings will wear a "KD1" patch on his jersey this season in honor of former Commodore back Kwane Doster, who was shot and killed in Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 26, 2004.

Nickson received quite the compliment from the opposition.

"That quarterback was the best running quarterback I've ever played against," said Miami linebacker Joey Hudson. "He had it. He was the guy tonight. He was the difference."


Tony Arnold said...

Lots to still do, OL is definitely our weakest area, need better production from RBs other than Nickson, but in total an A effort across the board, coaches on down, with some A+'s sprinkled around.

VU did what it needed to do. Win the season opener on the road to get us out of the blocks. And they did it easier and cleaner than most expected.

Great job to all the staff and players!

Now, given that all 3 LB's for MOH where on the Butkas watch list, maybe they are a better team than NCST. I sure hope so, because it bodes well for the home opener.

Unknown said...

For the first time out, a nice effort from the Dores. Although Nickson could take some wear and tear if he carries 20 times every game.

On another note, I'm listening to an interview of Bobby Bowden, and it turns out he got his Master's at the Peabody School before it was under Vanderbilt. But still pretty interesting.

Oliver Wolfe said...

Seeing as the Hustler isn't doing it, how bout putting up a scorecard for the game as well?