Coach Johnson discusses Auburn game

Sept. 29, 2008


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Head Coach Bobby Johnson
Quotes from Weekly Press Conference
Monday, September 29, 2008
Auburn Game

Opening Statement:

"We had a good off week and we got some good practices in. I think we will have some players back this week that have been out with injuries or were banged up from the Ole Miss game. We're back to a regular schedule and we are anxious to play at home this weekend. We had a very good practice yesterday and are busy preparing for Auburn. Our guys are looking forward to Saturday's game."

On how he spent last Saturday:

"I overdosed on college football. I kept changing channels watching all of the games around the SEC. I watched the Auburn game along with the other big SEC games that were on. It was an interesting weekend."

On the differences between Auburn's spread offense and Vanderbilt's:

"I really don't know. The main difference I guess would be the different personnel and different coaching philosophies. I can't tell you what their objectives are on offense. I'm not going to try to compare them."

On how Auburn spread offense has made it different for Vanderbilt in terms of preparing for them:

"It's definitely much different. Auburn is always going to be one of those teams that wants to run the ball and they will probably still try to do it against us. Last year, their offense was out of a different look. Their spread offense gives them many more options and opportunities to spread the ball around. They have a lot of good athletes so the spread offense allows them to put more pressure on an opponent's defense, but believe me, when they were running the ball down your throat, that was pressure too. Every offense has its advantages and disadvantages."

On why Auburn's third-down defense is so tough:

"They're just that good. They have a lot of gifted athletes on their team. I think the key to being great on third down is due to them stopping offenses on first and second down. That's when they're really tough. If your third and three than the offense has a lot of options and when it's third and long their defense has a lot of options. It's tough to convert on third down against them because of their great pass rush and excellent pass defenders. It's just hard to manage against their defense."

On keeping the team grounded with the recognition they've received:

"Well we just throw on last year's Auburn film. That's the best thing we can do. They were very impressive in that game and they sort of took us to the woodshed. Our guys know that we have to play extremely well if we want a chance to win. Plus, our guys get in their routine of class, practice, weights, and all the regular things in their lives, so I don't think too many of them are reading too many headlines."

On if he's ever coached another player like D.J. Moore:

"No, I don't think I ever have in my career. He is a pretty special player and I just love watching him play. You can see it in practice that his mind is always going and he is always trying to make a play in everything that he does. He is always looking for opportunities to help our football team and he has been very successful in doing it. He is a very aggressive player."

On how the week off helped the team heal from injuries:

"Well I think we are going to have George Smith (WR) back and Jeff Jennings (RB) back. How effective they're going to be after being out that long is anybody's guess, but they have been practicing well and it will be nice to have those two guys back this week. This time of year, you are going to have guys in the training room with bumps and bruises from each week so not having a game last week helps the healing process."

On the boost George Smith will give the team:

"Well I think having George's personality and leadership and what he has brought to the program, will be a big boost for him. George is a real good player. He's tall and he can run and catch so that puts a little pressure on anybody's team. Hopefully, we'll get him out there and he can get back into the swing of things and make some plays for our football team."

On Chris Nickson's shoulder injury:

"Well we haven't thrown him a lot, but he threw a couple balls yesterday and I think he is throwing just fine. He will be ready to go (Tuesday)."

On preparing to face Chris Todd and Kodi Burns:

"We feel that they have already shown that they will play both quarterbacks in the same game, so we have to prepare for that. I think a lot of the runs they do are very similar except Kodi is probably a little more apt to run the ball off of zone reads and things like that. Todd has shown that he can do it as well. Kodi can throw the ball as well, so I don't think they will have two different game plans going on, but I may be wrong."

On the team's reaction when they found out College Gameday was coming to Vanderbilt's campus:

"To tell you the truth, I don't even know when they found out. We had our team meeting (Sunday) at 3:30 and they already knew. Nobody mentioned it until I mentioned it. I told our team that we have to realize what the big event is here and that's the game. Gameday is great for the fans but we're just focused on the game."



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