Bobby Johnson comments on scrimmage

Vanderbilt football head coach Bobby Johnson was pleased with the first full contact scrimmage of the season. "I thought it was a pretty good first scrimmage. We had some good running and hitting tonight. A few people who were out would have probably made a big difference on both sides of the ball. We'll take a look at the film and see how we did."

Coach Johnson was not concerned with the offense's inability to score in the first half.  "I started them on the 30, and it ought to take them a long time to score.  70 yard drives are hard to do, at least I hope it is to sustain a drive that long against our defense."


Once possession of the ball started at midfield and then the 30 yard line going in, the Commodore offense looked better.  Johnson noted, "Obviously from the 50 and the 30, they had a little easier time getting into the end zone."


There was one minor injury, and that occurred to fullback Steven Bright, who left the game just before the end of the first half.  Coach Johnson revealed it did not look serious.  "He (Bright) fell on the ball after he caught the pass and was tackled on the sideline.  It probably just knocked the wind out of him."


Commenting on the lack of a running attack in the scrimmage, Coach Johnson was asked about the holes opened by the line.  "I don't think there were any holes.  When Cassen gets in there and plays consistently, we'll have an easier time evaluating the running game.


When asked about the play of true freshman D. J. Moore who intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble, batted away a pass, and stopped a receiver short of a first down, Johnson commented, "He's going to be a good player. He's got a lot of talent, and he likes to play.  He happens to be around the ball all the time."


On the play of Alex Washington, Johnson said, "Alex did a great job on the scoring play.  He made a great cut and had good blocking.  There was a lane to run through, but a lot of times people have lanes and don't hit them.  He did a great job of hitting it at full speed and got in the end zone.  I said all last year that Alex was going to be a guy that we would count on this year, and I still think so."


When asked to comment on the play of Chris Nickson, Johnson said, "I liked it.  I thought he was pretty efficient.  He knew exactly what he was doing and who he wanted to go to.  I'm very pleased with his progress."


Asked to comment on the race for number two quarterback between MacKenzi Adams and Arizona transfer Richard Kovalcheck, Johnson said, "It's too early to tell.  They both did some good things (in the scrimmage), and they both have some things to work on. 


Before the start of the scrimmage, the punters and place kickers had an opportunity to showcase their talents.  Freshman Brett Upson was the first to punt, and he booted a rocket reminiscent of Jim Arnold.  The boot went 55 yards with 4.6 second hang time, forcing a fair catch.  His second punt went for only 37 yards, but no return was possible on that one.  Coach Johnson was pleased.  "A 55 yard punt with 4.6 hang time tells me something.  He's got the capabilities; we've just got to get him to be consistent.  He's got the potential to kick it deep and high, and that's a good combination.  His bad punts are not really bad."


Another true freshman who looked impressive in the scrimmage was safety Brent Trice who looked strong both against the run and the pass.  Coach Johnson commented, "He's was at Fork Union last year in a prep school.  He's a year older than a normal freshman, so I think he is taking advantage of the maturity and the extra year of football.  We're very pleased with how he's coming along.  He's going to be a big, physical safety, and we're anxious to get him involved."


Alex Washington Comments On His Scrimmage Performance


VM: Can you describe the play where you scored the touchdown?


AW: It was a great play called by Coach (Ted) Cain over on the sideline.  The linemen did a great job getting out to block after the catch, and then I picked up some blocks by the other receivers.  I just had to catch the ball and run."


VM: Comment on the offensive production in this scrimmage.


AW: We played great in spurts.  If you break it down into quarters, we played well in the first quarter, but played sluggishly in the second quarter.  We made some mistakes, and the defense played great.  We didn't play to our potential, but the offense played well.  We still have three more weeks until we play Michigan, so I think we will be okay.


VM: Comment on your two other runs after catch.


AW: Just like on the touchdown play, the linemen did a good job of getting out there and blocking after the catch.  On one of the catches, I had two great blocks by Marlon White and Sean Walker on the outside.  I just had to catch the ball and go.  I just did what I was taught to do by Coach (Charlie) Fisher (Receivers Coach).


VM: What is your favorite receiving route to run?


AW:  That's a good question.  I'm not the fastest receiver, so it wouldn't be a fly route.  I like to run a post pattern and get up on the defensive back's toes and force him to the inside. Top Stories