Head Coach Bobby Johnson Weekly Press Conference Monday, Nov. 5, 2007 Kentucky Game
Coach Johnson's opening statement... "After a pretty tough weekend, there's no rest for the weary. We have to get back to work. We had a fairly good practice yesterday. We talked about the Florida game and put it behind us so that we can get ready for Kentucky. They will be a great challenge for us. They have a fine team and have played in a lot of good games this year. We'll see what we can do."
On the Vanderbilt defensive performance at Florida... "I don't think we took a step back defensively. I think we played against a good group of athletes, and we had a hard time matching up in certain spots. We should've done a better job at not trying to defend everything, but instead just play good defense and make them make some plays. We didn't make any plays in that configuration."
On the difficulty of playing in the SEC... "It's a very competitive league. You have to be ready to play. There are a lot of good coaches in this league. They're going to change things and make you defend the hardest possible things. They'll make you cover the hardest things on offense. It's a tough league, and you have to be ready every week. We didn't react very well to what Florida did and I take responsibility for that. We should have had our players in better positions several times to make ordinary plays, nothing spectacular, just make ordinary plays."
On why Andre' Woodson is an elite SEC quarterback... "I think he does a great job of knowing where everybody's going to be and seeing the field. He's a big guy who can see over everybody. He has a great knack of getting himself out of trouble because he has such a strong arm. He can have someone hanging on him, he can be going backwards, or he cannot have a chance to stride but still can get the ball downfield. He does a great job of running their offense. He makes checks, gets them in the right play, and gives them the best chance to be successful."
On why Kentucky has thrived recently in the SEC... "Kentucky is a state school. They have a lot of resources and have taken advantage of them. They have a nice stadium. They have great facilities. Those are the kinds of things that help any university."
On Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks... "I've known Rich for a number of years since he was a defensive coordinator in Atlanta. They had a summer camp at Furman, and he would let my staff and me sit in on all of the meetings. He was great to us and my staff at Furman. He would let us watch them practice and prepare for games in the early preseason. He is a good coach and has gotten the job done (at Kentucky)."
On preparing for a tough SEC opponent week after week... "This is what we're selling to recruits: you get to play against the very best just about every week. It's exciting, and we've done a fairly good job at competing against elite programs. We didn't do such a great job last week, but a lot of other teams have gone down to Florida and had a tough time with them. This is the kind of situation we want to be in...playing an important game in November against a quality opponent. If we beat them, then we've done something impressive."
On injuries to Sean Walker and Marcus Buggs sustained versus Florida... "I think Sean will be okay. He got hit in the head, and Marcus got kicked in the face. It's a tough game. We'll continue to monitor Sean because I think (his injury) was a little more serious at the time, but obviously, we'll look at Marcus too. I expect both of them to be back."
On what (tailback) Rafael Little's return from injury means to the Kentucky offense... "Kentucky certainly runs the football well with him. All of their running backs are just about clones to me. They're all quick, strong, and can make you miss. I talked to the Kentucky press before I came in here, and they assured me that Rafael is in good health and is ready to go. He has been great against us (in the past). We're due for a good game against him, so hopefully we'll hold him down."