Kent Austin -

The Vanderbilt offense - due to QB Chris Nickson and TB Jared Hawkins - has gotten most of the ink in their 3-0 start, but Rebel OC Kent Austin believes their defense is as good as their 'O.' Read about it inside.

The Vanderbilt Commodores are 3-0 thus far in the 2008 season.

Many point to their offense averaging over 30 points an outing as the biggest reason for their early success.

Somewhat overlooked, it seems, is the fact the Commodore defense is only giving up 17 points a game.

It's not something lost on Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Kent Austin.

"They are very aggressive on defense. They play hard and don't take plays off," Austin began. "They are sound fundamentally, they run to the football, they hit and they battle all the way to the whistle.

"They are a good defense and deserve to be 3-0. Their offense gets a lot of the attention, but I can assure you their defense will not be overlooked by us. Our guys will not overlook them. If they do, it's a big, big mistake."

Rebel Coach Houston Nutt said the Dores are no longer an ideal Homecoming opponent. Austin said not even close. . .

"They beat us (Ole Miss) last year. . . we definitely do not feel that at all. In fact, we feel just the opposite," he continued. "They are undefeated for a reason. It's not a fluke."

Vandy CB D.J. Moore is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the SEC. Austin was asked how you attack someone with his talent.

"Very carefully," he chuckled. "He's a very good player. He's got great feet and hips, his instincts are very good, he can tackle in the open field and he can shadow receivers.

"But we are going to run our offense. We are not going to overdo it with our analysis."

Last weekend, QB Jevan Snead - it's been repeated over and over - did not have a Jevan-like day throwing the ball. Austin thought that immediately after the game and after he had the opportunity to watch the film of the Samford outing his opinion did not change.

"The film showed what I already knew. He did some good things, made some really good throws and put together a couple of nice drives, but at the end of the day he missed too many throws," Austin stated. "He knows that. And it was all mechanical.

"He made good decisions, he read the coverages correctly and he threw to the right receivers, he just got loose with his mechanics and we have already corrected some of that. He's already throwing the ball better in practice."

Austin said he would expect nothing less than a quick turnaround and almost immediate correction/improvement.

"Jevan is unbelievable in how he absorbs things. He's a dream for a coach. He cares and he wants to be good. He has all the qualities you want at the QB position," Austin closed. "Plus, he's confident. He'll be fine. He had an off day throwing the ball and he'll get it corrected."


OM Spirit Top Stories