Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bobby Johnson says he was forced to play Larry Smith against Wake Forest

On Saturday night, I was applauding Coach Bobby Johnson for trying something new and going with redshirt freshman Larry Smith.

Turns out he had no choice. After the game, Johnson told Commodore play-by-play broadcaster Joe Fisher that Chris Nickson had a concussion and Mackenzi Adams "either bruised his collarbone or broke it."

Dang. I was hoping Coach finally realized that when you talk about how great your third and fourth string quarterbacks are and you have the 116th ranked offense in the nation, it's time to try one of them.

Remember that Vanderbilt wasn't going to offer a scholarship to a quarterback from the class of 2007, but Smith, Alabama's Mr. Football, was too good to pass up.

Here's more of Johnson talking about Larry's performance in the second half:

"Just like we've always said, we think we got a lot of good guys at that position (quarterback) and Larry was ready to go and got in there and made a few plays — made a few mistakes but that's gonna happen to a freshman against a good defense on the road in the rain playing from behind."

"Larry's good with his feet good with his arm we felt like we could keep maybe some options in there, throw the football."

On his decision to go for it on fourth down at the start of the fourth quarter:

"We were debating and it was a situation where finally I just thought that I don't know how many more times we're gonna get down there so let's try to take advantage of it and Larry made a great throw and Brandon Barden made a very smart play... he just sort of ad-libbed a little bit different and Larry found him in the back of the end zone and just shot it to him."

After Fisher mentioned how beautiful the 60-yard pass was that Smith threw from the end zone and Sean Walker dropped:

"It was. We've got to make those kind of plays. A lot of people worked hard to get that play off and execute it. That's fundamental stuff, catching the ball."

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