Can Vanderbilt make it to another bowl?

BIRMINGHAM-— Year after year it has been the same ole' story for Vanderbilt at SEC Media Days in Birmingham. When are the Commodores finally going to make it to a bowl? Is this the year?

Bobby Johnson had several close calls to reaching a bowl with some outstanding players in his first six years in Nashville—Jay Cutler, Chris Williams, Earl Bennett, Marcus Buggs, Jonathan Goff to name a few. However, it was last year's squad with D.J. Moore as the only big-name player that broke through the barrier.

Thus the 2009 SEC Media Days are different for the Vanderbilt representatives. Reporters are asking different questions about the ‘Dores. It's not "Is this finally going to be the year?" The question is, "Can Vanderbilt make it to another bowl in 2010?"

Asked what it's going to take to repeat the task, center Bradley Vierling jokingly responded, "Usually it takes six wins.

"We finally got to a bowl game last year and we got that feeling and we want more of it," Vierling added. "We absolutely do. At least another game like the Music City Bowl, but we want to go to a bigger and better bowl. We want to win every single game that we play. Our goal is to go undefeated. Every time we put on the helmet we want to get out there and win."

"Everybody is more excited," added senior cornerback Myron Lewis. "Everybody is walking with their heads up compared to the last few years. Just being able to go to a bowl game and overcome obstacles, it's been 26 years. The opportunity to make it to one and win it is a blessing.

"It brings more recruits in and more fans," Lewis continued. "The crowd is behind us more and shows more support. We have everybody working harder to take the last steps up the ladder, to overcome the obstacles we faced and to get over the hump to win more games. I see the fire in our players' eyes. We're ready. In the past we were at the point of making it to a bowl game, but we didn't have the fire as a team. Everybody is working hard in the weight room, on the field, in drills, seven-on-seven and everything just to get ready and prepare ourselves."

Lewis filled up the stat sheet as a junior racking up 76 tackles, seven for a loss, five sacks, five interceptions and six passes broken up. With the losses Moore and Reshard Langford, he'll be counted on even more as a senior. He'll be looked to as a leader.

"We've got a lot of young guys so they're going to look up to me and they're going to look up to Ryan Hamilton, Brent Trice, Patrick Benoist, Broderick Stewart, Steven Stone and Greg Billinger," Lewis says. "It's going to start with our offseason training. Without that, it's not going to take us anywhere. We're going to move on to film, carry that to the practice field, and from the practice field to game time."

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