Sept. 15, 2011
Gameday Central | Game Notes & Depth Chart
Bidding for Win Streaks
Vanderbilt fans can quickly point back to the Music City Bowl campaign of 2008 for the team's last three-game win streak. Finding the last head coach to start his Commodore career 3-0 is a bit tougher task.
You have to go back to World War II when E.H. Alley went 5-0 as a first-year head coach in 1943. Throw out the WWII years and you'll eventually come to a coach named McGugin. In 1904, Dan McGugin's first at Vanderbilt, the Commodores went 9-0, outscoring opponents by a crazy accumulative score of 474-4.
Last First-Time New Coach to Win SEC Opener?
This Saturday, James Franklin will coach his first game in Southeastern Conference play. It's been nearly a decade since a first-year head coach in the SEC captured his first conference game. The last to do it was former Alabama mentor Mike Shula, who guided the Crimson Tide to a 27-17 win over Kentucky in 2003.
Another SEC first-time head coach, Will Muschamp, will seek the same outcome three hours after Vanderbilt-Ole Miss conclude, when his Florida Gators host Tennessee.
Franklin is also one of 24 head coaches new to their programs this year. He is one of 11 that is currently undefeated.
Hayward's Interception Returns
Entering his senior season, defensive back Casey Hayward had just 19 total yards with his eight career interceptions. Hayward's two interceptions in 2011 have resulted in 72 yards and a touchdown.
Lohr is Team's First SEC Weekly Defensive Recipient Since 2008
An impressive effort by Rob Lohr that included four tackles for loss helped the junior earn the SEC's Defensive Lineman of the Week honors. It was the second time since 2000 that a Commodore defender posted four tackles for loss in a single game.
While coaches praised Lohr's effort, defensive line teammate Tim Fugger got just as much attention from the staff. Fugger, a senior defensive end, played extremely well, garnering two quarterback sacks among four tackles and a quarterback hurry.
Got Your SI This Week?
If you're a Commodore gridiron fan, expect this week's issue to be a tough find around town. The issue has an in-depth story on James Franklin and his constant efforts to sell the program and compete effectively in America's toughest college football arena, the SEC.
SI writer Michael Rosenberg followed Franklin and Vanderbilt student-athletes Larry Smith, Chris Marve and Casey Hayward at SEC Media Days, then spent three days on campus during preseason camp researching the story. It's an excellent read for Commodore faithful.
By the way, Rosenberg is the same writer than penned an incredibly interesting article on former Commodore QB Jay Cutler that appeared in SI's Aug. 15 edition.
Freshman Seymour Tops Team in Rushing
Freshman Jerron Seymour was the team's leading rusher in the victory over Connecticut. The 5'7" Seymour rushed for 70 yards on just eight carries, one of which went for a 40-yard score.
Early Season Statistical Leaders
After two games, the Commodores top the Southeastern Conference in turnover margin (+4) and quarterback sacks (3.5 pg). Three defenders are individual conference leaders: Tim Fugger, QB sacks (3); Casey Hayward, interceptions (2); and Rob Lohr, tackles for loss (4).
200 Tackles and More
While senior linebacker Chris Marve continues his assault on the team's all-time tackles list, another Vanderbilt standout reached his own achievement for career tackles in the Commodores' win over Connecticut. Senior safety Sean Richardson passed 200 career tackles against the Huskies, and needs less than 30 more to make his way into the all-time top 25 list.
NFL Scouts Attending Game
Nearly a dozen NFL scouts are expected to watch the Commodores and Rebels square off Saturday.
Ten different NFL franchises will be represented by talent evaluators watching from the press box. Scouts will be representing Arizona, Baltimore, Chicago, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
Weird Week for Former 'Dore OT Thomas Welch?
Think you'll have a tough week? Well, just be glad you're not experiencing the same as former Commodore lineman Thomas Welch. One of our favorite 'Dores, the former Brentwood High School standout has experienced one weird professional roller coaster this week.
So, let's explain. On Monday, Welch gets the call from New England Patriots' management that he's being activated off the team' s practice squad onto the 53-man roster. Initially, all is good. One day later, Welch gets word that the Patriots have released him to make room for other roster changes. The news isn't so good. On Thursday, Welch is informed that the Pats have added him back to their practice squad. All is good again today.
Here's your Bill Belichick/Vanderbilt trivia for this week: The three-time Super Bowl coach was born 59 years ago here in Nashville. He's the son of Steve Belichick, who served as a Vanderbilt offensive backfield coach under Bill Edwards from 1949-51.
Another Happy Former Commodore
Another of our top former Commodores, safety Reshard Langford, is enjoying the week. He's back with the Kansas City Chiefs, signed on Tuesday. In another odd twist, Langford takes the roster spot left vacant when former Tennessee standout safety Eric Berry suffered a season-ending injury in the opener.