Monday, December 29, 2008

Tidbits from Monday's Practice

Coach Johnson spoke with the local media following Monday afternoon's practice on campus. Here are a couple of tidbits as we get closer to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve.

Quarterback Situation

One of the main questions heading into Wednesday's game has been which quarterback will start for the Commodores against Boston College. Johnson didn't reveal his plans but did make the following comments:

"We have several options on what we can do and we'll try to do it by the situation that's at hand. We've got three capable guys, so anything can happen."

Familiar Face

Former Vanderbilt head coach Fred Pancoast (1975-78) was one of several visitors to the practice complex Monday. Johnson elaborated on how their relationship started.

"Coach Pancoast reached out when I got here. He'd write notes and come over here every once in awhile. Before the Tennessee game in 2005 he came over and had breakfast. He brought me a mug that had his picture on it as the last Vanderbilt coach to beat Tennessee in Knoxville (1975). We beat them the next day, so he's been back to visit several times. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It worked some this year before the Auburn game. Just like all those superstitions, if it were that easy, we'd be undefeated because I'm pretty good at noticing those things."

Pancoast still lives in Nashville and serves as the founder of Pancoast Benefits.

More to Come?

Johnson was asked if this year's success would be a springboard into next season.

"It should because we've got a bunch of these guys coming back. I hope they like the taste of winning some games because I think they know what it takes now. We've got to keep working at it and we've got to get better than we are right now. We've got a chance to do that with the guys we have coming back."

Location, Location, Location

The Commodores will have their team walk-through at LP Field Tuesday morning. Like most road games, the coaching staff will spend some time during the visit assessing the lay of the land including the dressing rooms, the warm-up area, and the sidelines.

"I've been in the stadium several times and it's a great facility," Johnson said. "We're looking forward to playing there."

Vanderbilt has played one time previously at LP Field under Johnson. In 2002, the Commodores were shutout by Tennessee, 24-0, to close the season.

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