Football: Tuesday practice observations

Vanderbilt practiced in light gear for the last time before beginning full contact drills on Wednesday.

By the time the sun came up over McGugin Center this morning the John Rich Football Complex was full of hardworking Commodores. Several players continue to have injuries keeping them out of practice. Nine were in a red jersey for the morning and 11 in the afternoon. Those in the red jerseys get just as tough of a work out from the strength coaches.

In the first play of 11-on-11, red-shirt freshman quarterback Jay Cutler hit senior wide receiver Dan Stricker for a 40-yard touchdown. A few plays later the same two hooked up again for another long score. Another highlight from the morning was Matthew Tant with several good runs including one 40-yard touchdown.

During the morning practice it was obvious that the offense and defense were getting tired of each other and ready to hit. Center Jamie Byrum and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer got into a fight and a few plays later Hillenmeyer and Jordan Pettit got into a fight. Coach Johnson stopped both fights immediately. After the second fight he stopped everything and told the team that they were to practice like it was a game, and in a game if you fight you get kicked out.

This afternoon was a more laid back practice. Most of the time was spent with the offensive coaches on one end of the practice field and the defensive coaches at the other end going over plays and reads. They went light for one last time before they go in full gear tomorrow Wednesday morning. Top Stories