Commodore defense shows promise

A few days ago it was mentioned how the Vandy offense, and more specifically the rushing attack, was very much on top in scrimmage and situational work this spring. Seeing as how James Franklin puts such high stock in his running backs, and in his various versions of the wildcat attack, it was no shock that the offensive guys were putting on a show.

A few days ago it was mentioned how the Vandy offense, and more specifically the rushing attack, was very much on top in scrimmage and situational work this spring. Seeing as how James Franklin puts such high stock in his running backs, and in his various versions of the wildcat attack, it was no shock that the offensive guys were putting on a show. The only issue with one side of the ball looking so good to this point, however, is it casts into doubt the ability of the defense. Thankfully in the last scrimmage before the Black & Gold game the defense came to play.

Opportunistic defense has been a hallmark of Franklin's reign in Nashville and he will have been thrilled that his defense was turning big plays into game changers when they got their hands on the ball. Of the three takeaways the defense managed during the 95 play scrimmage two were turned into touchdowns as the new group of defensive backs showed what they are capable of when they get their hands on the ball.

The first pick six of the scrimmage came on a situational drive starting at the Vandy 5-yard line. Redshirt freshman Paris Head is the kind of athletic, playmaking corner back that Franklin covets and he showed his ability to read the game by stepping in front of a quick out pass and taking it back for a score. Head showed both the smarts to know when to gamble and the strength to fight off a tackler by the goal line to get into the end zone.

The second defensive touchdown of the day came when senior Steven Clarke, a player whose role increased as the season went on last year, intercepted a deep sideline pass and returned it 95 yards for the score. The play was on a drive which started at the defense's 25-yard line and featured Clarke showcasing many broken field running skills including beating two would be tacklers inside the 10-yard line.

It is worth noting that perhaps the star of the practice was junior defensive end Kyle Woestmann who was doing his best Jared Allen impression and wreaking havoc on the offense. Known for being one of the hardest workers on the team, Woestmann used his high motor to pick up three sacks including two on consecutive plays which essentially ended a drive before it had even begun.

With both the offense and defense playing at a high level it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in next weekend's spring game. Look for it to be a competitive afternoon with Franklin demanding the best out of his players as football returns to give the Commodore faithful a glimpse of the promise that 2013 holds.

Commodores Daily Top Stories