Media Monday with James Franklin

Sep 9, 2013

Franklin Press Conference | Players | Notes & Depth Charts | Gameday Central

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, wide receiver Jordan Matthews, punter Taylor Hudson and safety Javon Marshall met with the media Monday to discuss the Commodores' next game against South Carolina. Saturday's contest will be televised on ESPN at 6 p.m. CT.

Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin  

Opening Comments:
"After watching the film of the Austin Peay game, it was about what I thought after the game. I thought we did enough to be 1-0 this week and win the game. I feel like we could have played better in some areas, but now we have two games to learn from and grow. If you look at the turnover battle from that game, it was a draw. Penalities I think we won that battle, statistically, but I think that's an area, especially the offensive line, that we have to improve on. Explosive plays--I think we did a good job at that. Our goal is eight or more and we had 10; on defensive our goal is three or less and we only gave up one. The guys that are in the game late, need to step in and do their jobs and that's going to be a great opportunity for growth. The fact that we didn't give up one sack in the game is a real positive. I think we had four sacks in the game and we lead the SEC with eight. So those are real positives for us."

 On South Carolina:
"The first thing is Coach Spurrier. If you really study Coach Spurrier and his track record, it's really unbelievable. I think one of the things that's most impressive is how he has evolved over time. If you think about the offense that he ran at Florida and now what he's doing at South Carolina, it's so different. He is finding ways to be successful in the most competitive football conference. I have tremendous respect for coach Spurrier and how he's done it.

"They have 12-of-22 starters returning. They have a pretty sizable lead in the series with Vanderbilt. They are 1-1 and they've played two pretty good games with North Carolina and Georgia.

"I have a lot of respect for their defensive coach Lorenzo Ward. They are very good at mixing up fronts and coverages. They are young and athletic at linebacker, they are talented on the defensive line and they have Jadeveon Clowney; he's pretty good.

"Connor Shaw is a veteran quarterback and he's a challenge. He's got great mobility. You'll see a lot of his big plays come when he's on the move, running around making plans with his feet. Connor Shaw as well as Dylan Thompson both have experience and have hurt people. I think that's a real position of strength for them.

"We are excited about playing South Carolina this week. It's a great opponent with a good head, and they have a great fan base."  

On Vanderbilt running game:
"If you take a combination of the first two games, it's ok. I'd like to see us a little further ahead. I didn't feel like we started out the way I anticipated us starting out on the offensive line, but I do think it's a combination of tight ends and the O-line. I think we have improved at tight end and I think we still have improvements to make and I think the O-line, as long as we stay true to who we are which is blue-collar hard-nosed program with great pad level then, we will be fine. I'd like to see us a little more consistent and dominant when we are capable of being dominant."  

On Taylor Hudson:
"I thought Taylor Hudson showed you guys why we are real excited about him. He has worked extremely hard and was able to get off some good punts averaging 44 yards and he had one where he crushed the ball. We are really pleased with him."  

On South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney [the last couple of years]:
"We have done a lot in the past and I think we have a plan as well. We'd like to add a tight end to that side to chip. You'd like to have a running back in position to help as well. You'd like to slide to him as much as possible, but they're smart as well they aren't going to leave him in the same spot all the time. I think more than anything we just have to be aware of him. We do that every week though, you try and take their strength away and eliminate them. The biggest thing is to be aware of him. He is going to have an impact in the game, but what you can't afford him to do is have a huge impact on the game."  

On freshman WR Jordan Cunningham:
"You have a true freshman that goes in there and has seven catches and it's not like they were all 'gimme catches' they were acrobatic, he was over-the-middle of the field. I was very, very impressed. Does he have to get bigger and stronger, there's no doubt about it, but that will come with time. I think the more guys we have on the field that the defense has to be concerned about, the more guys we have that the quarterback is comfortable with going to with the ball, the more guys we have on the field that our offensive coordinator is not limited on what he can call, the better. And we are constantly working on trying to develop that through more depth with recruiting, and how we can use guys."  

On first quarters in the last 2 games:
"It's just getting guys to execute. We have to go out there and play for four quarters and we have to play our best ball every single rep, six seconds at a time. I think that's my job to make sure that we have really good energy at practice, and that they know they have a coach that loves them. And I'll put them in a position to be successful, have some fun, fly around, work hard and go from there.

"I want to see our program grow. I want to see our guys continue to do things in the classroom, in the community. I want to see them playing and developing in every aspect of their life and get better every single day. I am very comfortable with the direction of our program, where we are going and how we are doing it, and that's really my focus. I take tremendous pride in being the head football coach at Vanderbilt."

Vanderbilt Senior Jordan Matthews - Wide Receiver

On slow starts:
"Yeah we have started off slow, but it is still early in the season, we are still building as a team. The coaches will continue to try to put us in situations to make plays and we need to continue to try and execute those plays. That will definitely be a focal point for us going into this weekend with South Carolina. I'm not worried though, we have a lot of talented guys and I know we are only going to get better as the year goes on."  

On the difference between this year's team and the one from two years ago (last time VU traveled to SC):
"What sticks out to me is the senior leadership on this team. I know once we step onto that field that we have a group of guys that have been together for so long that we always feel like we can pull out a win. I have more confidence with this team than I've ever had with teams past and I think that will help us in this game and games going forward."  

On becoming a better road team, specifically against SEC teams:
"The biggest thing is that the margin for error is a lot smaller. On the road in the SEC you are in hostile environments, places you aren't used to playing so that makes it tough. That being said, Coach Franklin and the staff have done a great job over the past few years prepping us for those environments in practice, from there its on us to execute once we step on that field."  

On planning the offense around Jadeveon Clowney:
"He is a really good player. You definitely need to plan around somebody like that but we are still going to play within our offense. We need to know where he is every play because he is capable of big plays."  

On the play of Austyn Carta-Samuels through the first two games:
"He can sling it. He is real good, he's played six quarters of football and is still in the top-five passers in the league. He's a technician, he's always working to better his game. At anytime I'll get a text from him about something he's seen on film, or something he might want me to look at in practice. He is always trying to help us get better."  

Vanderbilt Redshirt Sophomore Taylor Hudson - Punter

On the support of the coaching staff and team in first two career games:
"Their support definitely helped. They were nothing but encouraging the whole time. Coach Franklin came over and was supportive after my first punt, saying I got it out of the way and to show everyone what I can really do."  

Vanderbilt Redshirt Senior Javon Marshall - Safety

On playing alongside redshirt and true freshmen defensive backs:
"It doesn't really affect our job on the field at all. Those young guys have proven all through camp that they can perform at this level. They are so used to going against top-tier receivers in camp that they are expected to go out and handle their defensive responsibilities just like everyone else."

On playing against mobile quarterbacks:
"The most important thing is to stick to your responsibility. If the defensive end has to hold and contain he needs to hold and contain, if the linebacker is supposed to have the quarterback he needs to have the quarterback. If everyone does their job within the framework of the defense everything will take care of itself. On passing plays mobile guys tend to get a little antsy in the pocket, so it is important for us to keep them contained and make them force throws."



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