Sept. 19, 2012
Finding a finisher's mentality.
That was the theme inside Vanderbilt's locker room last Saturday when the Commodores hosted Presbyterian.
|Brandon Barca (Archive)
Forget the opponent. Nevermind the final score.
The game was about finishing strong. It was about winning the second half, something Vanderbilt failed to do in its first two games resulting in defeats.
The Commodores didn't ignore the elephant in the room either. Prior to kickoff, an amped up Walker May—junior defensive end and captain—gave a rousing speech to his teammates to set the tone. "We talked about finishing all summer, and in the fourth quarter, we haven't finished yet," declared May, while pounding his chest to the silenced room.
Sean Spencer, defensive line coach and leader of the Wild Dogs, was up next. "The last two weeks got erased. That wasn't VU. That wasn't us," Spencer said. "So everybody in this room today is a dog. And you're going to hunt."
The Commodores attacked quickly out of the gates and built a 27-0 lead at the half, capped off by Trey Wilson's 100-yard pick-six. But the coaches didn't back off in the locker room. They weren't satisfied with the miscues, and challenged the squad to perform at a higher standard.
Consistency was the focus. Finishing what you started was the message. "Win the third quarter. Win the fourth quarter. And do it in a dominating fashion," demanded head coach James Franklin.
Vanderbilt did just that against its outmatched foe, scoring four times in the third quarter en route to a 58-0 victory.
Get an exclusive look at the team on gameday in VUcommodores' first installment of reVealed.