Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Duct tape: The official sponsor of the Vanderbilt defense

How good a defensive coordinator — actually, his official title is assistant head coach in charge of defense — is Bruce Fowler?

You know how the Vandy defense turned up the heat on LSU in the second half? Well, consider this:

• Ryan Hamilton was playing with a pectoral muscle that had been torn off the bone.
• Patrick Benoist had an injured arm.
• Jamie Graham had a sprained ankle.

Which means you had linebackers playing safety and safeties playing linebacker. And you couldn't tell by the way the defense was flying to the ball and covering those Tigers. Although I knew something was up when I first noticed redshirt freshman linebacker Archibald Barnes playing 30 yards downfield.

Now Hamilton is out for the season. Oh, and second-team middle linebacker Nate Campbell has been dismissed from the team.

Which means that senior Brent Trice is listed on the Miss State pregame depth chart as the starting strongside linebacker and a co-starter at free safety. And Jamie Graham is listed as the starting nickel back and the backup strong safety, and meanwhile the fan base is screaming for him to play wide receiver.

Let's just split Trice and Graham in half and let them regenerate like planaria. Not sure if we can get that done by kickoff, though.

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