NASHVILLE -- Vanderbilt gets a much-needed bye week after a difficult stretch to open the 2012 season.
With extra time to prepare for Missouri, head coach James Franklin altered the schedule and held practices on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Commodores used the sessions to focus mostly on fundamentals, and also started to install the game plan for the Tigers. Franklin said his players will have the opportunity to travel home on the weekend, while coaches will be recruiting on the road.
"Today, we got a little bit of a head start on Missouri," Franklin stated following practice Wednesday night. "Each day we did a scrimmage of the non-travel guys or the low-rep guys. That's been really good. It's been great for us as coaches to watch some of the young guys that I think are going to have an impact for us next year. Tonight was a little bit different because we had a bunch of coaches that were already on the road recruiting, and then myself and the rest of the coaches are leaving tonight."
Following the open date, Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2 SEC) will face Missouri (2-2, 0-2), one of the two newest members of the Southeastern Conference, in Columbia, Mo., Oct. 6 for the first time since 1958. The Tigers travel to Central Florida this Saturday.
The Commodores have played one of the toughest schedules in the country. VU's losses have come against two top-10 ranked teams (Georgia and South Carolina), and an undefeated non-conference opponent on the road (Northwestern).