Vandy Lance's game preview

The world's number one Vandy fan weighs in with his thoughts on Navy, the upcoming Georgia game, playing with emotion, and more... in his typical stream-of-consciousness style. "Shoot, I almost wish Coach would let me in that locker room!" he says. "I'd just let 'em know, look, man, life's short! Make sure you value every time on that field!"

Ed. Note: "Vandy" Lance Smith, indisputably the world's No. 1 Vandy fan, has been down hard lately with the flu, which he contracted on the trip to Starkville. He also recently experienced another death in the family, when his grandmother passed away in Kentucky. "It's been one thing after another," he says. "And this football team..."

But VandyMania spoke with Lance Thursday night, and he seemed to be pulling out of the funk. He shared his thoughts on the last few losses, and the upcoming tilt with the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs... in his typical stream-of-consciousness style.


Vandy Lance: I don't mind losing... it's just that we don't seem to be ready to play a football game when it starts. We're falling down 14-0 before we even break a sweat. It's getting us in trouble. I just don't see the same fire in their eyes that I saw at the beginning of the year. Losing is just taking a toll on 'em.

Those Navy guys... they were tough as eggs! But they were so small... they had linemen that were 250 pounds that were just beating' us up. It was just demoralizing. It was like playing the Tennessee Titans. We couldn't get the ball from 'em.

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if we held onto the Bulldogs for three quarters. We'll fool people... just when you think we're at our lowest, we jump up and get excited. I mean, if you can't be excited about playing the game on Saturday, then you're liable to get hurt! Physically hurt! If you back up a little bit... that other team's not backing up. Just because Lance doesn't play doesn't mean Lance don't know what he's talking about.

It seems like if our offense is playing, our defense isn't, or it's just the opposite. If they're both playing, then it's the kicking game. It's like Coach Johnson says, we have to play a perfect game. We have to play mistake-free football.

I've been a little more pleased with the officiating lately... it was great down in Starkville. That's the thing about playing Mississippi State, they're such bullies, they'll take two or three personal fouls just to make you fear them. It's a bully way of doing things.

My goodness, then we play a team [Navy] that will just knock you on your block and help you up, and ask if you're all right! You can't even get upset at 'em! You can't heckle 'em either, 'cause they're student-athletes too. I've never been so worthless at a football game in my life. It was like coach said... they just whipped us. It was tough to take.

I had to move from my seat down to the end zone just to watch the last five minutes, just to get away from people being negative. It got pretty nasty. We had some people do some stupid stuff.

But even I'll shout out every now and then too. When it got to be 14-0, I stood up and shouted at the top of my lungs, "Hey boys, quit feeling sorry for yourselves and play some foot-ball!" It disturbs me a little bit when people don't get excited about playing a game that a lot of us can't do. We didn't have the God-given ability, or the God-given brains to get into Vanderbilt. Coaches come and go. Athletes come and go. Students come and go-- for the most part they go far away and they don't come back. But Ol' Lance, he sits up there every year. And he goes to bat for these kids. I just want 'em to play hard!

But of course, Vanderbilt don't have a lock on that. There was another team that kind of got their feelings hurt this week... about 173 miles from here! They had a li'l ol' play that backfired on them at the end of the first half, and they kind of threw in the towel. You hate to see that happen to your team.

I don't think Vanderbilt threw in the towel... I just think they ran into something that was impossible to prepare for [Navy's triple option]. We're just going to have to get stronger and bigger. It's just the kind of thing that can happen to a sophomore team. It's just disturbing that you had a fullback who got 115 yards, and you know where he got 'em... right up the middle.

I just wish we could start a football game better. We just gotta be ready-- we need to just go across that street like we're gonna bite somebody's head off. Shoot, I almost wish Coach would let me in that locker room! I'd just let 'em know, look, man, life's short! Make sure you value every time on that field!

The toughest thing is to see 'em do so well at times. I just wish they could be consistent. We were told that they weren't gonna be any good this year, am I right? But then you come out there and you slap Georgia Tech around for three hours... and they shoulda beat Florida State! When you show us that, we just get a little hungry, you know what I'm sayin'?

But you've got to take your hat off to the fans. They sit out there, and they don't "graduate." They're lifers. They deserve to have something nice happen to 'em. We're gonna be outnumbered again this week like you wouldn't believe. They're bringing 25,000, and who knows how many we'll have. But I'm gonna tell you what... those ones that come that root for Vanderbilt are tough son-of-a-guns.

VandyMania: Lance, let's cut to the chase... do you think this team has one more win left in it this year?

Vandy Lance: (Long pause) I don't know... but I think I've got two or three left in me! Top Stories