NASHVILLE - The Commodores' first preseason scrimmage in Vanderbilt Stadium was controlled by an aggressive and attacking defense.
The Vanderbilt defense forced five turnovers and limited their offensive counterparts to just a pair of touchdowns in the 99-play scrimmage.
Head Coach James Franklin was pleased with the defensive effort but said a coaches' decision to restrict full-contact and pipe loud music through the stadium likely affected the offense.
"I thought the defensive really played well and flew around," Franklin said. "At the same time, they had an advantage because we didn't go live.
"At the same time, we didn't play well on the offensive side of the ball, and we didn't handle everything as well as we should have. The most important thing is that we are ready on Sept. 3," Franklin said.
Afterward, quarterback Larry Smith summed up the offensive mindset. "The good thing is we have 14 days to improve," the senior said.
Neither Smith or junior Jordan Rodgers showed consistency in the passing game. Both were hurt by a number of dropped passes and poor decisions. Smith threw the only touchdown pass - a 5-yarder to wide receiver Udom Umoh - but also an interception that defensive back Trey Wilson returned 35 yards. Rodgers twice hit wideout Chris Boyd on passes of 20 yards or more, but also threw interceptions on consecutive possessions.
The second Commodore touchdown was a 2-yard run by tailback Warren Norman, one play after Rodgers and Boyd connected on a 33-yard reception.
The offense struggled to communicate through much of the session as Franklin called for the piped-in crowd noise on all 99 snaps. The result was an unusually high number of pre-snap infractions by the offense.
"I try to make it challenging," the coach said. "I am trying to make our practices harder than what the games will be."
Corbin and baseball newcomers watch from sidelines
Commodore baseball head coach Tim Corbin watched nearly the entire scrimmage from the defensive sideline. He was joined by many of the newcomers to a squad coming off its first appearance ever at the College World Series.