Michigan Post-Mortem

Fresh off a season-opening 27-7 loss at Michigan, Vanderbilt football coach Bobby Johnson addressed the media Monday afternoon at McGugin Athletic Center. Johnson spent several minutes talking about the lack of offense his attack troops displayed in Ann Arbor Saturday.

"Not being able to run the football effectively was the most discouraging thing," Johnson said. "We did not take advantage of some opportunities. We were 13-7 at the half and we still had a chance. We had the ball, I think, on the other side of the 50-yard line when it was still 20-7 and we had some opportunities like we did last year against Arkansas. You know, we were behind, scored, came back and scored late in the game and won and hopefully we were going to be able to do that last week but we didn't get it done."

Commodore starting tailback Cassen Jackson-Garrison rushed for just two yards on eight attempts, with five of those yards coming on a 3rd and long play. He was obviously not 100%, but even a fully healthy Jackson-Garrison would have found the going tough against Michigan's defense. Coach Johnson conveyed his feelings on CJG and the lack of any success. "Well, an appendectomy to our running back is probably the main thing (he saw), and we looked back and saw some guys that we thought were going to play extremely well and they played well but they didn't play as well as they could because they missed practice. They missed practice a lot. They just weren't as sharp as they could be and I think that really was the case with Cassen. I don't think he was extremely sharp. And you know you've got to give a lot of credit to the Michigan defense, too. They were pretty good. You've got to block them to be able to run but there were some opportunities there where we could have run the ball a little bit better."

Just where would Johnson rate Michigan's defense with other teams Vandy has played the last few years? "Michigan would fit right into the SEC. They are a talented football team. They had some excellent linebackers – versatile guys. They were some tall, rangy guys that we had trouble blocking. Alabama is going to be physical; they are going to be fast on defense. That is what we are going to see all year so we might as well get used to it. I don't think that we are going to see otherwise. That's the name of the game."

Big Saturday For Booker

Commodore defensive end Chris Booker recorded a single game career high for tackles against Michigan with seven tackles, all solo stops. Booker is on his way to surpassing his season high of 30 tackles, which he established in both 2003 and 2005. For the first time in his career, Booker is healthy. As a freshman, he partially tore his ACL; a year later, he completed the tear.

"This year, I feel 100%," Booker said. "I've been running and feeling great. It's been really nice going out there healthy and showing what I can do."

Booker is his toughest critic. When asked to comment on his play against Michigan, he replied, "I thought my production was good, but technique-wise, I didn't have quite as good of a game as I wanted to. The way Michigan ran their zone blocking enabled me to come across and make the seven tackles." Booker is gifted with a great ability to analyze the game of football, but some times, he has found this to be a hindrance to his play. "I'm trying to stop thinking (too much). I'm always trying to analyze. I'm one of those guys who watch as much film as possible. Some of the times I was in there (vs. Michigan), I was thinking about it too much. I need to stop that and just play ball. When you're on the field, you have to know the tendencies in the back of your head and not anticipate those tendencies and just react when they come."

Chris Booker Audio


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