Monday, August 25, 2008

VSL Hotline: Back in Business, Edition

I was out of town and without Internet access, O'Shea had an injury setback and was placed on the 15-day DL, and Stanimal...well, I hesitate to speculate. But fear not, Commodore Nation. We're back in business, and like y'all we're getting amped up for the kickoff of a new and hopeful football season -- 3 days, 6.5 hours and counting...

What have we missed in the interim?

For starters, Chris Low of recently warned Vanderbilt opponents: "Don't sleep on the Commodores." In the same report, DE Broderick Stewart made a few bold remarks that should have us all talking. Proudly stating that Vanderbilt will "surprise a lot of people this year," Stewart predicted the team will make it to a bowl game (which, incidentally, O'Shea and I both projected despite Stanimal's Debbie-Downer negativity). Even more interesting than that, I thought, was Stewart's declaration that Vanderbilt has the fastest defense in the SEC this year. Wow. Bold. Very, very bold -- and I LIKE it. Here's the exact quote: "Hands down, I think we're the fastest. You'll see. We're going to play really fast. We've got guys all over the place who can move, some new faces that people haven't really seen, and it doesn't get any better than having a secondary like ours playing behind you."

Finally, Stewart went on to state that a major difference between this year and last year is that on last year's team there were some "attitudes that hurt [us]." (Stanimal: read this carefully.) Not so this time around, according to Stewart -- everyone is on the same page and confident that the team will (not just can) win. Season tickets still $99 if you want to see the new Vandy with your own eyes.

In related news, D.J. Moore (who hereinafter on this blog shall be known as "The Natural," per the Commodore players' nickname for the defensive-offensive-special teams triple threat) is getting some serious preseason hype. Chris Low thinks he may be the most versatile player in the SEC. Note that this would put him above Percy Harvin, Knowshon Moreno, and Dexter McCluster -- a tough sell, perhaps, but what a great conversation starter. Fanning the fire, NFL Draft analyst Mike Detillier has described D.J. as the "most underrated defensive player in the SEC" and believes he is one of the top five corners in the nation.

According to Mo Patton, the team took a break yesterday to rest up and allow time for players to nurse a few minor injuries before the season opener against Miami (OH) this Thursday (7:30 EST, ESPNU). This is a game Vanderbilt cannot afford to take lightly for a number of reasons. First of all, for the first time in a long time, the RedHawks are 100% healthy as a team. Second, this is the deepest and most experienced Miami (OH) team in recent years. Moreover, Patton reports that Miami has three linebackers on the 66-player watch list for the Butkus Award. It marks the first time in the 24-year history of the honor, given to college football's top linebacker, that one team has had three players on the watch list. Keep your eye on Clayton Mullins (also on the Bronco Nagurski watch list), Caleb Bostic, and Joey Hudson Thursday night. DB Robbie Wilson is on the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list. Bottom line: the RedHawk defense is stacked. Add to all this the fact that the fans are planning to "white out" the stadium in Oxford to fire up their team for a win over an SEC foe, and you can't deny that this is a game to be taken very seriously.

Read the Miami (OH) game notes here, and Mo Patton's got a brief game-by-game outlook for the 'Dores here.

As of today, Bobby Johnson has yet to reveal who the starting quarterback will be come Thursday. In fact, to hear Mo Patton tell it, it appears as though he still hasn't made a final decision. I will leave the wisdom of CBJ's approach open for floor debate. Brett Hait's Aug. 19 report that the offense remains "unsettled" appears, at least to this observer, still to hold some truth.

So what can we expect from this season? Brett Hait reports today that CBJ is committed to ending the 25-year losing streak this season. As the first coach in 20 years to hold the VU head coaching job for seven years without being canned, no one can argue that he hasn't been given a chance. Again, despite Stanimal's negative outlook, I think we'll do it -- what say you?


Anonymous said...

i say we can do it. but one game at a time. i'm not talking about any games except miami. we have to win this if we're going to a bowl this year. this is a critical game. i can't believe the redhawks are favored! this should be more than enough motivation to get the team pumped up to beat the snot out of them. if they don't, look for vanderbilt to have its 26th losing season. if they win, we're not even close but it's a start we can build on. we need to be 1-0 for the usc game.

Douglas James said...

You guys missed that ESPN just signed a huge 15 year deal with say goodbye to JP/Raycom

Douglas James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seamus O'Toole said...

Sporting News picked up the story on Vandy’s QB situation.