Oct. 14, 2010
Marve Expected to Play Saturday
Junior All-SEC candidate Chris Marve is expected to play Saturday at Georgia, just 10 days after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.
Marve, second in the conference in total tackles, practiced fully Wednesday and Thursday, and appears ready to reclaim the starting middle linebacker role he kept for 29 straight games until missing the Commodores' win against Eastern Michigan to injury.
The junior is one of two veteran Commodore defenders hoping to return to the field. Co-captain Adam Smotherman went through a full week of preparation for the first time this season and could see his initial action at defensive tackle in his fifth and final year.
Injured on the first day of spring practice last April, Smotherman has been diligently working toward a return. Last week, despite not playing against Eastern Michigan, Smotherman participated in the coin toss dressed in full gear.
Smotherman's return at Georgia would benefit a defensive tackle corps that is also missing co-captain T.J. Greenstone, a native of Lawrenceville, Ga., who continues to nurse a high ankle sprain. Greenstone is questionable this Saturday.
Rushing Attack by Committee
Fifth-year senior Kennard Reeves (Duluth, Ga.) became the third tailback to start this season for the Commodores when he opened at running back against Eastern Michigan. Reeves joins sophomores Warren Norman and Zac Stacy as starters at the position.
The Commodores, due to uncertainty from a rash of preseason injuries, have used Norman, Stacy, Reeves and redshirt freshman Wesley Tate at tailback. Each has at least 10 carries on the season, topped by Norman (55 attempts for 327 yards).
Freshman Receiver Krause Delivers
Jonathan Krause (Snellville, Ga.) is having the best receiving year by a Commodore true freshman since Earl Bennett dazzled SEC fans.
Through five games, Krause is tied for third on the team with eight catches, good for 112 yards. Bennett, who had 25 receptions through his fifth game as a freshman in 2005, eventually smashed league receiving yards that season.
Krause is one of two true freshmen from Georgia expected to start for the Commodores. The other is safety Kenny Ladler from Stone Mountain.
The Southerlands - Divided Household
Of Vanderbilt's 22 players with ties to the Peach state, probably none have a tougher time with the Bulldog clash than reserve linebacker Blake Southerland.
Southerland, a former standout at Greater Atlanta Christian School, has an older brother, Brannan, who starred at Georgia as a fullback from 2005-08 and served as a senior team captain for the Bulldogs.
"All of them will be supporting the Commodores, but I'd guess Brannan will wear neutral black," Blake said of his family and close friends expected to attend.
Just a redshirt freshman, Southerland sees action on Commodore special team return units.
Winborn Back with Titans
Marve is chasing a rare SEC defensive career stat - producing at least 100 tackles in three consecutive years - last accomplished by Vanderbilt's own Jamie Winborn. The former Commodore standout is back in the NFL.
Winborn, an All-American linebacker in 1999, re-signed late Wednesday with the Tennessee Titans after another `backer, Colin Allred, was placed on injured reserve. Winborn, who started the Titans' first four games, was released on Monday when full-time starter Jared McGrath was reinstated.
Winborn also serves as a versatile special teams contributor for the Titans.
Coach Balcomb & Staff Watch Football Practice
Commodore women's basketball coach Melanie Balcomb and her staff took in an hour of the team's Thursday practice.
Balcomb, preparing to start her preseason camp Friday morning, watched nearly an hour of the practice with assistants Vicky Picott and Kim Rosamond and Director of Basketball Operations Justin VanOrman. Caldwell invited Balcomb to practice immediately after she talked to Nashville media members Monday prior to Caldwell's regular weekly press conference.
Caldwell and Balcomb talked for more than 10 minutes as the Commodores went through their drills. "I think it's great that Coach Balcomb would bring her staff over to watch. I didn't take me long to find out she was sure interested in everything going on," Caldwell said.
100 Years Ago This Week
In 1910, Dan McGugin's Commodores defeated Tennessee 18-0 to move to 4-0 on the season. They finished the season 8-0-1 - one of four McGugin teams that didn't lose a game. Through the Tennessee game, McGugin's forces outscored their four opponents 89-0.
Tickets Remain for Homecoming game vs. South Carolina
Tickets are available for Vanderbilt's four remaining home games, including its homecoming affair Saturday, Oct. 23 against South Carolina. SEC officials announced kickoff at 6:08 p.m. for the SC-Vanderbilt game.
The Gamecocks, fresh off an impressive 35-21 victory over No. 1 Alabama, are nationally ranked at 4-1 overall. They face a tough road trip to Kentucky this Saturday.
Tickets to the South Carolina game ($50 ea.) are available at the Vanderbilt Athletic Box Office in McGugin Center Monday-Friday, or by phone at (615) 322-GOLD or online at the officials website, vucommodores.com.
Marketing officials said the $99 season ticket price for Vanderbilt employees remains an excellent value for the four games: South Carolina, Florida (Nov. 6), Tennessee (Nov. 20) and Wake Forest (Nov. 27) games. The season ticket price is more than 40% off the regular price for all four games.
(Photo Credit: Mike Marti)