Interview: Vanderbilt's Merritt Kirchoffer

An excited Merritt Kirchoffer spoke with VandyMania on Saturday after the Black and Gold scrimmage. "Bowl game, it doesn't matter. We are going to a bowl game and that's going to happen," said the fifth-year senior.

VandyMania: What are your feelings now after the spring game?
Merritt Kirchoffer: We have two more practices left but I am just excited. I have not ever seen our team play like this before; Chris is playing great; the offensive line is playing incredible. We didn't lose anyone, Stamper is out for the spring but he's going to be back in the season. I'm just like so, so excited; bowl game all the way. I feel like I have improved a lot and so have the rest of my teammates.

VM: What do you think is the most important thing that the offensive line has improved in?
MK: Being aggressive and finishing our blocks. That's something we've always tried to work on and this spring we've made a big deal about the "Terminator Award" and the person who gets the award is the person who finishes the most blocks and it's been a battle, we've focused on getting folks on the ground, not being cheap or anything, because we'll practice like we play and we'll play like we practice. We've got to play aggressive and that's what we've been doing this spring and that's good.

VM: So how are you guys looking? I know you had one guy get hit in the head the other day, but he seems to be okay.
MK: Chris is fine. It was just a little stinger. Offensive linemen, you just get beat up; you take it and you keep on going. We're looking great. Stamper will be okay. Everyone else is healthy.

VM: I noticed that they've move Ryan Custer back from the defensive line.
MK: They gave him like two or three days over there and he's back on the offensive side of the ball so that's good.

VM: Going up against the defensive unit every year, you already said the offense will be improved, but what are your thoughts on the defensive unit?
MK: I'm excited about our defense. We lost a couple people last year but a lot of the younger guys have really stepped it up. Theo has just improved so much, he's improved so much every year, and he's going to be a star this year. Our linebackers are incredible; Goff is incredible and I'm just glad they are on my team.

VM: So what's the goal? What are you guys thinking as far as how many games you'll win?
MK: Bowl game, it doesn't matter. We are going to a bowl game and that's going to happen.

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