On Campus in Nashville - The Commodores continued to emphasize improvement in scoring situations Tuesday as coaches put the squad through a series of full-contact, red-zone possessions for the second straight practice.
It also marks the Commodores first practice of the spring under the lights at John Rich Practice Facility.
Head Coach Bobby Johnson continued the physical nature of Vanderbilt's spring practices, putting the Commodores through a variety of full-contact drills. The team opened with 12 third-down situations, moved to six red-zone drives, and concluded with several full-field possessions.
Through four practices, the coaches have stressed improvement inside the 20-yard line, an area where the Commodores struggled last year. Their red-zone offense (scoring just 14 touchdowns in 36 possessions) and red-zone defense (allowing 22 touchdowns in 35 series) were off the team's 2008 standards and poor among SEC teams.
"We're working on several areas that need improvement. Better (red zone) efficiency is one of those areas," Johnson said. "Our guys have responded and are working hard to make sure we're better there."
The head coach saw much to like from the offense and defense Tuesday. While the offense scored three touchdowns in the segment devoted to red-zone improvement, numerous defensive players made solid individual plays to stop possessions.
"We're competing, working hard and getting better," Johnson said after the practice. "Our guys can see plenty of opportunity for playing time. They just need to continue to bring effort, practice the way they're coached, and keep improving."
Among the full-contact highlights:
Several tough inside-the-tackle rushes by tailback Zac Stacy, including a 6-yard score in the red-zone session.
Three receptions by tight end Brandon Barden, including a 9-yard scoring strike from Jared Funk and 32-yard catch from Funk on the final possession.