Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vanderbilt football: Like Iowa State but with a defense

Well, Vandy got this ringing endorsement yesterday from Army Coach Rich Ellerson:

"Now we play Vanderbilt. I would liken them to Iowa State with a better defense."

Wow, thanks, Coach.

Of course, Army did lose 31-10 to the Cyclones, in Ames.

In addition to complimenting the defense, he also praised the ability of Vandy's "bevy of running backs." Does it feel like we've got a bevy of running backs?

Anyway, I like Ellerson and his approach to coaching a team that's frequently outmanned. Listen to some of these quotes from Tuesday's press conference. He might as well be talking about Vanderbilt:

On mistakes in last week's game: "It’s a little bit like a car wreck. If you’ve been having trouble remembering to wear your seatbelt, get into a car wreck, and suddenly that’s not a hard habit to come by."

On losing last week and being an underdog this week: “The good news is that nobody died. We were a free country, and we are still a free country, and we get a chance to play on Saturday... We are an underdog and we love it. If we can just clear, take the lesson forward, and grasp this opportunity, we can put one on somebody. It’s going to be hard, but that’s OK.”

On the importance of magic: “We don’t have a lot of magic in terms of somebody where we can be close and give the ball to Billy Bob and he’ll make everything right. He isn’t here. We have some guys who can play, but we all have to play together and we all have to be on-point. We can’t have eight or nine guys doing it exactly right but then have two or three guys that (make mistakes). When you play against good, athletic people, without magic it’s going to be hard."

On offensive penalties: “We are having a hard time surviving a penalty. Once we get behind the count we have a hard time making those five or ten yards back up, and that’s a concern.”

On recruiting: "We do not paint ourselves into a corner in terms of what a guy has to look like. You don’t have to be 6-4, you don’t have to weigh 290 pounds, what you have to do is be explosive and be athletic. We’ll look anywhere for those guys. We think Texas is obviously a place where academies traditionally have done very well."

Hmmm. The Commodores are recovering from a car wreck, too, and cheering themselves up by reminding themselves they live in a free country, and trying to embrace the underdog role, and trying to conjur up last season's Music City Bowl magic, and coping with 1st and 15, and searching for tough little players in Texas (Patrick Benoist, Jared Hawkins, Collin Ashley, Al Owens, et. al.)

Oh yeah, and both teams wear black and gold. Freaky, huh?


Anonymous said...

Army won't quit no matter what the score is, and they won't be out-conditioned.


Yes, I'll be at the game Saturday rooting for the Commodores but I won't be rooting against the Black Knights, that's for sure.