Monday Musings: Freeze phones Franklin
Nov. 5, 2012
Prepping for Ole Miss' Uptempo Offense
Vanderbilt's defense will be challenged this weekend by Ole Miss' uptempo offense. The Rebels average 70 plays per game, which is fourth in the SEC behind Texas A&M, Tennessee and Missouri.
"It's a challenge on everybody," commented Franklin on Ole Miss' fast-paced attack. "You are not going to be able to make the perfect call on defense. It is about us executing our defenses better than them."
Overall, Ole Miss is sixth in the SEC in total offense with an average of 408.2 yards per game. The Rebels have also thrown for more yards than they have rushed for. Ole Miss ranks sixth in the league in passing offense and will be just the second foe the Commodores have faced in SEC play that ranks in the top half of the league in passing offense (Georgia).
"Unless you run the same offense, it is difficult to try to show it to your guys," Franklin remarked. "We'll do some things in practice to try and create the tempo as much as we possibly can. The other thing is if we can go good against good, which we do every single week anyway, and make that a no-huddle period for our offense against our defense. That's the fastest way that we'll be able to do it."
Franklin on Joker Phillips
On Sunday, Kentucky announced that Head Coach Joker Phillips would not return in 2013. His dismissal came one day after Vanderbilt defeated the Wildcats 40-0 in Lexington. Vanderbilt has outscored Kentucky 78-8 in two meetings under Coach Franklin. On Monday, Franklin was asked about Phillips at his weekly press conference.
"I've known Joker for a long time," Franklin said. "I have tremendous respect for him as a coach. I have tremendous respect for him as a person, as a man. I wish him nothing but success in the future. If there is ever anything I can ever do to help Joker Phillips, I will bend over backwards."
Stingy Red Zone Defense
In a league known for outstanding defense, Vanderbilt's defensive unit has exemplified that reputation this year.
The Commodores rank 19th nationally in total defense, 14th in scoring defense, seventh in pass efficiency defense and third in pass defense, behind only Michigan and LSU.
"I think it's just a mentality of 11 players functioning as one," Lohr said. "That's how we look at it. We don't always have people that jump out at you on the stat sheet, but we work together well and I think we complement each other. We execute the defense and make plays. We don't really care who makes the play, as long as they're made."
Vanderbilt's defense has also been outstanding in the red zone. In fact, the Commodores are the best in the league when it comes to allowing touchdowns in the red zone. There have been 27 times in which a Vanderbilt opponent has reached the end zone, but only 10 of those times did the Commodores surrender a touchdown (37.0%).
Vanderbilt's percentage is tops in the league. Florida ranks second at 44.0%. The 10 touchdowns allowed in the red zone also ranks second in the league behind only Alabama (eight).
This week's opponent, Ole Miss, ranks third in the league in red zone touchdowns scored (21-of-30).