Talk with Greg Zolman- Part II

This is second part of a two part series featuring an interview with quarterback Greg Zolman.

VN: Your receiving corps last year was basically Dan Stricker and some players that were inconsistent, dropping some balls that hurt you. Did you feel like you really needed to lean on Stricker? One of the criticisms of you was that you would sometimes lock on Stricker. Tell me about that. Did you lose confidence in guys and then gain confidence in others?

GZ: Last year was a frustrating situation all around. At times, I tried not to lean on Dan too much, but when it got down to it, sometimes I felt like I had to. We had young guys out there. M.J. (Garrett), Anthony Jones, Ronald Hatcher, Chris Young. Those are young guys. Sometimes it was natural for me to feel like that.
But this year, they have all played and had extensive experience. I think we are going to have a pretty even receiving corps as far as its consistency. Hopefully they will be consistent every week, because that will sure help us.

VN: Was that a focus in the spring and now the offseason, to get more help for Stricker?

GZ: Yeah, that is obvious, because teams double-team Dan and do a lot of things to get the ball away from him. As the younger guys get more and more playing time, their games are going to elevate. We are looking for big things out of those guys. They have to step it up or we are still going to struggle in that area.

VN: You are the all-time career passer in the SEC as far as returning quarterbacks in the league. Did you realize that?

GZ: I knew once Quincy (Carter) left, I thought (Wayne) Madkin from Mississippi
State would be close. I knew once Quincy left, I'd be up there. Yeah, it's cool.

VN: You are about 1,000 yards from being Vanderbilt's all-time leading passer. Does that surprise you?

GZ: That is surprising. It would be something that would be real nice to take away from my time here because there have been a lot of good quarterbacks that have played here. It would be nice to leave a mark on the program.

VN: Do you think this will be the best offense you have played with?

GZ: I don't want to make any predictions, because we learned about that last year. I think it will be one of the most experienced and hopefully it will turn out to be one of the most successful.

VN: Finally, what are your thoughts on the MTSU game? Do you have more to lose playing a ‘neighbor' than playing a Miami (Ohio)? The Miami (Ohio) loss may have set a negative tone for last year. Is there added pressure?

GZ: I don't know if there is added pressure. There is in a way, but at the same time, it is just crucial that we win this game. They are going to be sky-high and ready to play us and if we don't come out with that same attitude … They can beat us. I've looked at their roster and they have a bunch of junior college transfers and they have some serious athletes. We can't overlook them at all. It is a big game for both of our programs.

VN: Did the Miami (Ohio) game affect you guys more than just 0-1?

GZ: I think it totally did. We never really rebounded from that. If we win that game convincingly, maybe we go on and get Alabama. At the same time, we went down to Alabama and played very strong. I ran into (Alabama running back) Santonio Beard in the mall yesterday, and he said we deserved to win that game. We got over the goal line and recovered a fumble that we didn't get calls on. It was just one of those things.


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