Joe Fisher's Mailbag, Oct. 12
Oct. 12, 2012
I was at the game in 1982 when Vandy beat Florida 31 to 29. What are the keys to winning this year?
- Larry Maynard (Madison, Tenn.)
Having watched Florida, we simply can't let their offense stay on the field for extended drives. The Gators absolutely wore down the LSU defense last week in their win. Our offense needs to sustain some drives of their own and keep the Gator offense on the sidelines. I also think this is the type of game where a huge play in special teams will go a long way; a blocked punt, a long return ... a momentum changer.
I am very impressed with the 19-15 win over Mizzou but I am most proud of our special teams from last year to this year. How was Coach James Franklin able to change our special teams so efficiently and quickly? It truly shows how great of a coach he is.
- Bryant (Valley Head, Ala.)
Special teams is certainly a vital part of a team's success. I think a great deal has to be placed on the confidence put into our guys. Richard Kent has become one of the best in the SEC and in the nation at pinning teams deep. He's not concerned about statistics; just about being effective. Carey Spear has grown by leaps and bounds with his confidence as our placekicker, as well as handling the kickoff duties (and making a name for himself by hits like the one he delivered at Missouri). Ryan Fowler is always ready so we don't miss a beat. What coach is looking for now is the big play ... someone to bust a big return, block a kick, whatever it may take to turn a game around.
Special Note From Joe:
This is a sad weekend for me. My good friend Kevin Ingram is doing his final game with us on the network. He has a wonderful opportunity to do television play-by-play for the Ohio Valley Conference. Kevin has patrolled the sidelines and the locker rooms for us for almost 11 years. He's a true professional, but more important, he's a class act and a very close friend. Kevin penned a letter to you to say goodbye and I wanted to include it in the mailbag.
By Kevin Ingram
As I unpacked my suitcase from the Vanderbilt win at Missouri the other night, it really started to kick in that my time on the football sidelines with the radio crew is almost over. After 10 1/2 seasons, Saturday's game against Florida will be my final one, as I will be doing play-by-play for a few games on TV for the remainder of the year.
I had hoped when I started in 2002 to see and broadcast a Vanderbilt bowl game, and to do a game broadcast in all of the (then) 12 Southeastern Conference stadiums. Well, I was lucky enough to do all of that, twice ... and several times for many of the venues. What a treat. Nothing in American sports compares to a football Saturday in the South, and to have walked upon all the legendary fields of the SEC is very special.
Thanks to the three head coaches during my tenure, Bobby Johnson, Robbie Caldwell and James Franklin. They've been very accommodating, as have the coordinators I've interviewed each week for the pregame show. I've also enjoyed visiting with the assistants and players over the years, too many to name ... from Hunter Hillenmeyer to Earl Bennett and Reshard Langford ... and more recently the quality young men on this team such as Zac Stacy.
I really appreciate my friendships with the equipment and video staffs, and certainly Tom Bossung and the medical group. Thanks to Larry Leathers and his dedicated media relations staff, for helping coordinate our work with the players and coaches. I also appreciate the cooperation and friendship of Jeff Miller and IMG. And of course, the radio listeners and Vanderbilt fans.
Most of all, thank you to Joe Fisher, John Gromos, and Bob Horner. Not just guys I work with, but true friends. I will miss our travels and camaraderie, and their good humor. We've done around 120 Vanderbilt games together, and they were total pros through all of 'em. Every season a winner. Mitch Light will take over my spot, and will do a great job. I'll still be around doing the morning show and games. My family and I love Nashville too much to leave anytime soon.
I knew sidelines would be an interesting job when some loudmouth at Georgia Tech kept calling me "game show host" during my first Vandy game broadcast in 2002. I've seen a little of everything ... from goalposts carried out on West End, to somber and celebrating locker rooms ... a coach doing a postgame show with nothing on but the radio ... Friday nights with big league baseball and Bourbon Street, and fans a bit over-served for an 11 a.m. kickoff.
Now the last one is here.... You know, Florida is the only SEC East team I haven't seen Vanderbilt beat over the years. Saturday seems like the perfect spot.
God Bless and Go 'Dores,
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