Vanderbilt Commodores Football Season Preview History
2014 Vanderbilt Football Preview:
After 2 consecutive 9 win seasons, and 3 consecutive trips to a bowl game, the energy around the Vanderbilt Commodores football team is as high as it has been in a decade. 2014 will be an important year for the Commodores, as it marks the first year of head coach Derek Mason’s tenure at Vandy. He brings with him a new 3-4 defense and a will to keep the Dores moving towards the top of the SEC. Key to this success will be Kyle Woestmann and Caleb Azubike, who anchor what will be one of the most dangerous defensive fronts in the SEC. Mason will turn the offensive side of the ball over to redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary, but will rely heavily on senior Kellen Williams and the running game. Exciting matchups on Vanderbilt’s 2014 football schedule are September 6th against Ole Miss, November 8th against Florida, and November 29th against in-state rival Tennessee.
2013 Vanderbilt Football Preview:
In two seasons, James Franklin has already done things that have never been accomplished in program history. Franklin has changed the culture of Vanderbilt football and has led the Commodores to back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in school history. In the tough SEC, Franklin has done an admirable job in a short period to make his presence known. The Commodores will look to build off the recent success by relying on a defense that finished 18th in the nation last season and held opponents to under 22 points per game. The offense will return eight starters to a unit that averaged 30 points per game. Franklin will need to find a starting quarterback and will have to replace the departed Zac Stacy in the running game, but Vanderbilt’s top two receivers in Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd will be returning. James Franklin’s squad will have a great chance to make their presence known when Georgia travels to Nashville for a midseason conference showdown.
2011 Vanderbilt Football Preview:
After a 2-10 year, there’s nowhere to go but up for Vandy. However, things are abuzz in Nashville after the arrival of new head coach James Franklin. In the Commodores, the former Maryland offensive coordinator will find the bones of the team that placed 112th in offense out of 120 teams in college football. Can Franklin’s pro-style offense help lift the doldrums of Vandy football?
A lot of that will depend on the incumbent signal caller, senior Larry Smith. Can he rise in the new offensive scheme, or will he continue to only show promise instead of performance on the field. If he can break through, it can only mean better things for junior running back Warren Norman. The former SEC Freshman-of-the-Year had an injury plagued 2010, and has been recovering from off-season wrist surgery that shelved him during spring practice. The coaches will be happy once he’s full speed to show what they can do overall on offense.
Defensively the most important piece will be new addition—defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, who commanded the defense for the winning subdivision school, William & Mary. The defensive line he inherits at Vanderbilt has 10 players he can swap out. The anchor of the unit may be senior end Tim Fugger, who was second in the SEC with four forced fumbles. However, it’s the secondary which may be the entire team’s strongest unit. If senior safety Sean Richardson and senior cornerback Casey Hayward can continue their impressive careers in Nashville, then the Commodores may be turning the page to find a happier story ahead.
2010 Vanderbilt Football Preview:
Vanderbilt has long been in the basement of the SEC, making just one bowl game in the past 25 years. The Commodores did not do much to change that in 2009 after a dreadful 2-10 campaign. First- year coach Robbie Caldwell will have a tough time turning the tide this year with a difficult out-of- conference schedule.
Vanderbilt had a tough time scoring last year, as they ranked 113 in the nation in points per game with 16.3. That might improve a bit this year, as junior quarterback Larry Smith has another year's experience under his belt and receivers John Cole and Udom Umoh are both back. The biggest question mark is the lack of experience on the offensive line, where none of the starters from last year have returned.
The defense's strength will once again be its secondary. Last year, they ranked ninth in the nation in pass defense and the presence of juinors Casey Hayward and Sean Richardson will provide strong leadership. Junior Chris Marve will be solid at middle linebacker as well.
Vanderbilt has a tough start to their season with their first four games against Northwestern, LSU, Ole Miss and an upstart UConn team. While they certainly can improve on last year's result, a bowl appearance is unlikely.
2009 Vanderbilt Football Preview:
Head Coach: Bobby Johnson
The Vanderbilt Commodores should be a surprisingly good team in 2009. The Dores will be led by Head Coach Bobby Johnson and hope to string together some wins in the always tough SEC Conference. If Vandy can pull a few upsets then keep an eye on them to wind up playing in an important bowl game.
2008 Vanderbilt Football Preview:
Head Coach: Bobby Johnson
The Vanderbilt Commodores football program has been considered the underdog of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) since its creation in 1932. Vandy football players have also, however, shown themselves to be proud and unpredictable, beating #6 South Carolina and nearly upsetting #16 ranked Georgia on the road in 2007. Head coach Bobby Sanders has apparently found a home in Nashville and has made some unorthodox administrative changes in the athletic department in hopes to orchestrate a huge turnaround for the Commodores football program. Dudley Field at Vanderbilt Stadium will be a thrilling place to be this season as the Commodores try to climb the ranks of the SEC. There’s nothing more exciting than watching underdogs shock the nation by knocking off some of the great powerhouse teams in college football.