Opening statement: "I was pleased with the team's effort tonight. We were able to take control of the game early. We had some lulls that we will need to clean up, but this gave us a good chance to run our offense and try different things. We played well on defense all night and stayed aggressive. Western Carolina was outmanned but they played hard and made us work."
On expectations of freshmen running backs: "They're cool customers and can handle the pressure. They've done a good job of learning the offense and we were able to run through some big holes. We're pleased with their execution and stayed aggressive."
On rotating running backs: "We like to have the luxury. We try to move fast and its tough on them throughout a game so its good to have guys to go in there."
On balance of offense and defense: "We have a chance to be better this season offensively because we have younger players from last year who have matured. We return a lot of guys on defense who were part of one of the best units in the SEC last year."
On the overall execution of team: "I know that the coaches will be pleased. We asked our guys to work on things that they've never done in a game before. I debated kicking our final field goal late in the game but I wanted to give Ryan Fowler a chance to get in there and kick a field goal after missing two earlier."
On the "Stallion" offense: "It was good but it could be better. It gives defenses something else to look at and prepare for."
On the defense: "They were aggressive tonight and caused turnovers. I know that they really wanted to get the shutout."
On using the bench: "It was good to get our bench players and even our freshmen into the game. The experience is good for them because scrimmages help but you have to play in an actual game to get better."
On facing LSU next week: "We will face tougher competition against LSU but we're not scared of the challenge. We're looking forward to the game and it's a big opportunity for our program."
On how he thought his first start in college went: "It was a great experience. I just have to thank God for giving me the opportunity to go out there and showcase my talent. We played hard and it was a lot of fun. I have played football my whole life, but playing at the college level is a little different in terms of pace."
Did the game slow down for you as the game progressed: "Yeah, as our offense got more snaps I think it slowed down a bit. The tempo of the game came a little fast at first but I got used to it."
On Warren Norman: "Warren and I are basically like brothers. We're roommates so if one of us ever makes a mistake, we let each other know."
On the offensive line play and running through big holes: "Our backfield has to give credit to the offensive line every night and anytime your offense has over 400 yards on the ground you have to give them a lot of credit. Western Carolina was basically playing zone defense all night, so they were able to open up some good holes and good cresses."
On the wildcat formation or as Vanderbilt calls it, the "stallion:" "I think the formation is great and I think it adds a lot to our offense. It's my favorite formation to run and I was a little upset I wasn't able to run it but, it's all good. I think the formation keeps the defense off guard a bit and it adds a nice wrinkle to our offense."
On tonight's playbook: "We have a lot more plays in our playbook but we were able to run through their defense for most of the night."
On the momentum from the forced turnovers: "Heading into the game, we just wanted to go out there and set a good tempo. Our goal was to intimidate and dominate from the first snap of the first quarter and I think we did a pretty good job of that tonight."
On forcing fumbles: "Our defense is just trying to do better than we did last year. We are trying to get after the ball and create turnovers every play. Whatever we have to do to win, is what we want every play. I just try to go out there and make plays for our football team."
On if this is most balanced the team has been since you have been here: "I can't say that yet, but our offense and defense as a whole has been productive and if we can continue to do that every Saturday, our accomplishments will be unlimited."
On the programs first shutout in 10 years: "That felt great. We kept that in the back of our mind tonight and we pulled it out."
Dennis Wagner, Western Carolina Head Coach
Opening Statement: "On offense I felt like it was three plays and out almost every series. The inability to move the football kept our defense on the field way too much. Defensively, we missed a lot of tackles. We had an opportunity to make some plays and we missed some tackles. I believe we had five fumbles in the game and you can't do that against a team like Vanderbilt. I told the team we have a lot of work to do before we play Gardner-Webb."
On the positives to take from the game: "The positives from it, I thought our punter (Blake Bostic) did a good job giving us good field position. I thought Mike Johnson, the freshman, did some good things and ran hard. We have a lot of work to do. We're going to have to get better defensively, and it was good to see a team like this right out of the gate that runs the no huddle. There were times we didn't get lined up correctly and they took advantage of it. It was not the performance that we wanted to have. It shouldn't have been a 45-0 game. Coach (Bobby Johnson) did everything he could to not make it that way. By no means did they try to run the score up. He did a great job of making sure, and he was just letting his kids play football."
On Vanderbilt's no huddle: "I don't' think we spent enough time on the field offensively and when you run a no huddle offense and you run a lot plays, it wears your defense down. We really felt it should have been a 28-0 ball game. I can't say that we should have scored because we didn't even come close. We gave them too many opportunities and a good football team will take advantage of them."
On special teams: "I think the only bright spot of the game for us was our special teams. We did have two fumbles on special teams so we will try to eliminate that. Our number one goal was ball security. We had to hang to on to the ball and not give them more opportunities than they were already going to get, and we didn't do that. The special teams, I thought performed well and we have to continue to build on that and get ready for Gardner-Webb."Warren NormanChris Marve