Media Monday with James Franklin

Oct. 14, 2013

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

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Vanderbilt football head coach James Franklin, defensive end Kyle Woestmann, wide receiver Jordan Matthews and offensive lineman Wesley Johnson met with the media Monday to discuss the Commodores' next game against Georgia. Saturday's contest will be televised on CBS at 11 a.m. CT.

Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin
Opening comments:
"It was good having a bye week. Most of the coaches were able to get out on the road and get some really good recruiting done--either seeing kids that are already committed to us or evaluating some others. We were also able to get some time with our families."

On Georgia:
"They have 13 of 22 starters returning, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I think the biggest difference this year compared to last year is the size. They're still big on SEC standards, but they aren't as massive as they were last year with having multiple guys over 350-pounds that we had to deal with."

"Offensively, they return seven starters and it's probably as good of an offense as we've played this year. They're probably more similar to us. They run a little bit of pro, a little bit of spread, they do a lot of different things offensively, but the thing that makes them go is their quarterback."

"It's going to be a good challenge. I know our coaches and players are excited about the early game, playing on CBS and playing Georgia at home."

"I know we have a good team coming into town that has been successful for a long time -- and this year. All we are going to do is study the tape, the personnel, the schemes, the strengths and find some weaknesses."

On Georgia RB Todd Gurley's possible return:
"It doesn't really change their scheme. It's not like they are running one scheme with him and one without him. Obviously if he's playing, we can expect that he's going to touch the ball. We still have to stop their plays, whether he is in there or not. It's just a matter of if you're dealing with a 230-pound All-SEC running back. The backs that they have been playing, have been effective and have done a nice job. We are going to prepare as if he is going to be in the game. I anticipate him in the game."

On Georgia QB Aaron Murray:
"You have a veteran quarterback and the fact that he's been successful for four years with so many different players. The experience of being a starter for four years, with a different group of personnel that supported him, helps him get through a situation like this. And it shows how resilient he is, but that is what you would expect from a four-year starter."

On correcting the defense in the bye week:
"We went back and studied a lot of tape -- offensively, defensively and special teams. Offensively, we are ahead in almost every statistic from where we were last year. Defensively, we have played some pretty good teams. We have made some adjustments after going back and studying some things that I think we can do that really isn't a whole lot different. That's where you have to be careful. You don't want to reinvent the wheel over the bye week and you just want to tweak some things that are simple adjustments for you, but give a different appearance to the defense, and that's all we are trying to do."

On having the bye week to get injured players healthy:
"I think it helps. Getting them some extra time to get healthy and fresh is important so we will have a few more guys that we haven't in the past [few weeks]."

On the early start time:
"I love the early games. I know our guys and most coaches don't like sitting around the hotel waiting for the game to start."

On pulling redshirts of linebackers:
"We want to make sure if you make that decision it is the best for the program short-term and also long-term, as well as being the right decision for those kids individually."  

On Georgia's loss to Missouri and Vanderbilt's most recent game being Missouri:
"I think it helps [to have played Missouri before the bye week]. When it's the very next week, you get a good feel and a pretty good idea of what you've just faced and be able to look at how they deal with it offensively, defensively and on special teams. I think that definitely helps us, and it gives everyone the awareness of how good Missouri was on offense."

On Vanderbilt's defense in SEC play:
"The responsibility is always on the coaches. I'm not going to sit up here and make excuses or rationalize this and what hasn't happened, but I do like our plan. I'm excited about where we are going. I'm excited about the opportunity to play this weekend, and I'm excited about what we have for the future. It's a process, there's no doubt about it."

On RB Jerron Seymour being the starter:
"He's been the most consistent guy at this point, in terms of play making and assignments. I don't think we have a guy (like last year) that is the clear cut starter and took most of the reps. Jerron has earned the right to be the starter at this point, but it's not a significant gap between him and the other two guys in my opinion." 

On adjustments to the defensive line:
"To be honest I think our D-line and our secondary has the ability to play at a higher level. I truly believe that. I think that our D-line can be a lot more disruptive -- tackles for a loss, sacks, pressures on the quarterback -- just being disruptive as a whole and I think we have the ability to do that. I think the same way about the secondary. We have four seniors back there that have the ability to make more plays and be more aggressive.

Kyle Woestmann, Defensive End
On 11 a.m. start times:
"I really like the 11 am starts. I don't like sitting around all day waiting for the game. It is cool to watch some of the other teams play but that just gets me even more antsy. I'm excited for these 11 am games, so we can just get up, eat and get ready to roll."

On Coach Franklin's comments about the D-Line performing at a higher level:
"We've put in a lot of work this week. After looking at film, we saw that the ends weren't winning one-on-ones, the tackles were getting pushed around and knocked out of gaps. We have an opportunity this week, against a good SEC offensive line. We were really disruptive against Ole Miss early in the year, we set a tone for what we are capable of, and we want to get back to that this week."

Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver
On finishing strong:
"We need to stay focused. We need to make sure we are all on the same page and we must learn from the mistakes that we've made through the first half of the season."

On coverages during games:
"I see some crazy coverages during games. At South Carolina, Clowney dropped back into coverage with me. Teams try a lot of different things against me. There have been a lot of collisions from linebackers, double teams from safeties and corners being physical and aggressive at the line of scrimmage. It's all apart of the game though, I don't let it affect me. I study the film, and see how the teams have covered other receivers over the course of the season. I know that I will see different looks during the game but teams generally settle into their game plan, so that is when I try to find ways to exploit them."

Wesley Johnson, Offensive Lineman
On finishing the year strong:
"We really just need to stay close as a team. We all realize that we have so many games left, we just need to finish strong like we have done in the past."

On benefit of the bye week:
"Having the bye week is good. It has allowed us to heal up some of the bumps and bruises that come with playing this game. We're all feeling really fresh and we are going to come out like it is the first game of the year on Saturday."

On playing a nationally televised game:
"We know this is important to the program, and it is cool, but it will be a whole lot better if we can beat Georgia."



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