Vanderbilt Opponents Camps Notes and Quotes

Football season is rapidly approaching for Vanderbilt. The Commodores are hard at work getting ready for their opener on September 5th. Vandy's twelve opponents are also hard at work getting ready for their seasons. Here's a quick look around the twelve preseason camps.

Western Carolina

Following Sunday's off-day for the players, the Western Carolina Catamounts returned to the practice field Monday morning for a 25-period, two and a half hour session under overcast and humid conditions on the turf of Bob Waters Field at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.



Today marks the final day of two-a-day practices for the Tigers. LSU held an abbreviated morning workout, followed by an afternoon session that was forced indoors due to rain. The Tigers actually did a portion of the afternoon practice – mainly special teams - in the rain outside on the new artificial turf field, but then moved inside for the remainder of the workout. After today, the Tigers are scheduled to assume a one-a-day practice routine for the remainder of camp. LSU is scheduled to conduct its second scrimmage of camp on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium followed by its third and final scrimmage next Tuesday. Hard to believe, but two weeks from today, head coach Les Miles will have his first weekly press luncheon of the year as he will meet with the media on Monday, Aug. 31 to preview the season-opener against Washington.


Mississippi State

After 15 practices in 13 days, including 10 on the intramural field near South Farm in the last eight days, Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen has closed his team's initial fall camp.

The Bulldogs practiced twice on Saturday, again following a routine of working on the running game in the full-pads, full-contact morning session and focusing on the passing game in the afternoon workout.

"We worked hard today," Mullen said. "We need to get more consistent - on both sides of the ball - but we came out and gave good effort all day."



For every position where the depth chart appears relatively stable, there is another unit so in flux that Saturday's scrimmage, the first of three during fall camp, is direly needed to set straight the record on who will end up where on the depth chart when the Owls travel to Birmingham, Ala., to open their season against UAB on Sept. 5.

"Hopefully there will be some clarity at some of these positions," Owls coach David Bailiff said. "We're not drawing conclusions yet, but we're starting to get information. Saturday will help.

"We know what (junior defensive end Scott) Solomon and (senior free safety Andrew) Sendejo (can do). We've got to get other people in there to develop the depth for the season. While at the same time getting the team better, (the staff has to) look at some of these young (players) like (freshman tailback) Charles Ross."


Ole Miss

The Ole Miss Rebel football team conducted a light workout inside the Indoor Practice Facility on the Ole Miss campus on Sunday. Working out without pads, the Rebels focused their efforts mainly on the kicking game.

"I think our guys saw a lot of things they can improve (from yesterday's scrimmage)," said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. "We spent a lot of time on kicking today, on every phase of it. That is an area where our young guys can help our ball club. We've put a lot of emphasize on that."



Jenkins presided over a seven-play, 70-yard scoring march for the first-team offense, a drive that featured a slashing 35-yard run by junior slotback Alfred McDaniel that moved the ball to the B-squad 15-yard line. In his first game-like setting in more than three years, McDaniel settled nicely into Army's triple-option offense, finishing the day with a team-best 55 rushing yards on six carries. Freshman fullback Jared Hassin capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge.

"The biggest thing was I was trying to head outside and I saw things closing up on the outside, so I tried to go back inside, make people miss and go to the house," explained McDaniel. "There's a little conditioning that I have to do, but as time goes by I think I'm going to get better."



"It was fun to be under the lights and between the hedges on a Saturday night," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "The guys were playing with a lot of energy and I think the coaches got what they were wanting out of them."

Senior Joe Cox took a majority of the snaps with the No. 1 offense during the last scrimmage, but redshirt sophomore Logan Gray and freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger were behind center for most of Saturday's scrimmage.

"Cox got less work tonight so that we could give the younger guys some reps and see them move the ball," Richt said.


South Carolina

"The most encouraging part of the scrimmage is that we were able to run the ball," said head coach Steve Spurrier following the two-hour workout. "We ran the ball decently out here today, which we have not done very well on the practice field."

The Gamecocks showed off their trio of running backs who are competing for touches this season. Redshirt freshman Kenny Miles had the biggest day, carrying 16 times for 98 yards, including a 39-yard jaunt, and two touchdowns, both five-yard bursts. Junior Brian Maddox rushed eight times for 50 yards, while true freshman Jarvis Giles carried eight times for 39 yards and a touchdown. The ground game churned up 276 yards on 59 tries.


Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech sophomore Jaybo Shaw, the Yellow Jackets' top reserve quarterback, broke his collarbone during a scrimmage Saturday morning.

"It's really unfortunate," head coach Paul Johnson said. "Jaybo was playing really well and was having a good camp."

With limited information, Johnson estimated that Shaw could miss 6-8 weeks. Johnson did not rule out the possibility of Shaw using 2009 as a redshirt season, but the Yellow Jacket head coach said it was much too early to speculate.



Replacing Louis Murphy just as critical as filling Percy Harvin's role, Urban Meyer says With all the talk about who is going to take over the Percy Harvin role in Florida's 2009 offense, another area seems to have been vastly overlooked.

Who will replace former receiver Louis Murphy?



Following Sunday afternoon's practice, Coach Rich Brooks seemed relatively pleased with the evaluation of the film from the team's first major scrimmage held Saturday.

"The first-string defense and the first-string offense actually executed pretty well, maybe ahead of my expectations," Brooks said. "The very good thing is that we're throwing and catching and actually running the ball halfway decent



"It was good to get back out on the field today," head coach Lane Kiffin said. "It was a very long, hard practice in a pretty good amount of heat, so that's exactly what we needed. I thought the offense ended great in the four-minute (drill) with three long runs. Both scenarios were with more than three minutes on the clock, and the offense was able to run it out and score. The first offense scored; the second offense ran the clock out."

It was not just another drill for Kiffin's charges, but a way to perhaps win or ice a game.

"It was good to see because that's what ball is about," Kiffin said. "In a three-hour practice, just like a game comes to the end, you've got to do things right when you're really tired in the fourth quarter."


Commodores Daily Top Stories