March 27th Practice Report

It was another cold day of practice. The coaches started with group position teaching and then went to team drills. For the second day in a row they had a contest between the offense and defense. The ball was spotted at various places on the field and down and distance was announced. If the offense got a first down they received a point, if the defense stopped them, then they got the point.

As in the previous days practice session, the defense won the overall competition and the entire offense had to do pushups.

One part of the team practice consisted of quarterbacks, runningbacks, and wide receivers vs. linebackers and defensive backs while the offensive and defensive lines went 1-on-1. During this time a Jay Cutler pass was picked off by Marty Morgan. In the battle of the trenches, Jamie Byrum and Jim May dominated the inside but were strongly contested by Dinwiddie and Trey Holloway. Justin Geisinger shows that he is one of the top performers at tackle, but has a tough battle against Chuck Losey, Ryan Nungesser, and Jovan Haye.

Later they started 11 on 11 in the red zone. On the first play, quarterback Benji Walker threw a touchdown pass and two plays later ran in for a score. During the scrimmage from the 40 yard line, Walker also did well. He completed passes to Dan Stricker, Nick Getter, and others. The offense scored from the 40 on consecutive plays. First on a screen pass to M.J. Garrett, who made some good moves before outrunning the defense. The next play Norval McKenzie took off on a draw for a 40 yard score.

Coach Johnson stopped practice halfway through and let former Vanderbilt head coach George MacIntyre address the team. MacIntyre coached the 'dores from 1979-'85 and led Vanderbilt to the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Ala in 1982. He coached Vandy to wins over both Tennessee and Alabama during his tenure. Vandy has not been to a bowl or beaten the Vols or Tide since. Coach Johnson told Coach MacIntyre he was welcome back anytime. Johnson played for MacIntyre when MacIntyre was an assistant at Clemson in the early '70s.

Coach Johnson blew the whistle to end practice, but wasn't happy with the team walking to midfield. He sent everyone back to where they were and blew the whistle again, causing a stampede to midfield. After practice officially ended the players met with their position coaches for final instructions. The defensive line did updowns and the wide receivers did pushups.

During the scrimmage, Jim May who has recovering from an injury had to repeatedly run across the field for conditioning. Others in red jerseys were Mike Martin, Aaron McWhorter, and Brian Kovolisky. Aaron Carter was not dressed out.

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