The Vanderbilt football team returned to Vanderbilt Stadium for the second time this spring for an extended scrimmage session on Saturday morning. Referees were on hand officiating the scrimmage portions of practice. Quarterbacks Jordan Rogers, Austyn Carta-Samuels, and Patton Robinette each got significant repetitions working with the offense, though Rogers was the only quarterback to consistently spend time with the first team offense.
While he had some trouble throwing the football accurately during parts of practice, returning starter Jordan Rogers had the most success finding his receivers on Saturday. Rogers led the offense to touchdowns on consecutive drives that started on the opponent's 25-yard line and scored touchdowns on three drives starting on the 5-yard line. Redshirt freshman H-back Kris Kentera was frequently targeted in the red zone, catching an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rogers on a fade route in the back corner of the end zone.
Carta-Samuels continued to struggle with decision making on Saturday, getting sacked multiple times while checking his receivers downfield. Carta-Samuels nearly connected with Daniel Hagaman in the corner of the endzone before Steven Clarke visibly pulled on Hagaman's jersey and was called for pass interference. After the penalty, running back Hasan Clayton pushed the ball into the end zone for the only touchdown that came while Carta-Samuels was at quarterback.
The biggest offensive play of the day came from walk-on receiver Daniel Hagaman on a 77-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Patton Robinette. Robinette felt pressure coming from each defensive end, stepped up in the pocket, and delivered a strike to Hagaman 40 yards downfield. There was miscommunication between defensive backs Eddie Foster and Andrew Williamson, either of whom could have been defending Hagaman.
"Patton has a presence. On that one, he stepped up, he scrambled, kept his eyes downfield and made a big play," said Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. "I'm very pleased with him. I'm happy for Hagaman and all those guys that get opportunities."
Robinette had a good day throwing the ball, although the offense turned the ball over each other time he was in at quarterback. One turnover came in the form of a Trent Pruitt fumble after a completion, and another with a fumble from walk-on running back Hasan Clayton.
Defensively, cornerback Andre Hal and safety Kenny Ladler both had very impressive practices on Saturday morning. Hal and Ladler consistently came together to interrupt passes across the middle of the field. Although the bottom end of the depth chart in the secondary struggled at times, the first-team defensive backs have consistently bothered the offense.
Practice ended with a long period devoted to special teams, specifically field goal kicking. Kickers Ryan Fowler and Carey Spear began the session by converting on their first five field goal attempts before Coach Franklin began actively distracting Fowler, Spear, and holder Richard Kent. Franklin went as far as to dump a Gatorade cooler on Kent while he was holding a kick for Spear. At the end of practice, the kickers combined to convert eight of 10 attempts, concluding with Ryan Fowler hitting a 46-yard field goal.
Vanderbilt Holds Second Scrimmage of Spring
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