Monday, November 2, 2009

Larry Smith's hurt, we're "stuck" with Mac, Funk's back on O...and Goro's got a shot?

You've probably heard that Larry tore his hammy and may be out for the season. Which prompted those genius online headline writers at the Tennessean to pen this gem: "Vanderbilt appears stuck with Adams." That was the headline a few minutes ago, but I guess Mackenzi's father/public relations agent made them change it to "Vanderbilt to stick with Mackenzi Adams."

Well, starting Mac when there's absolutely no other choice is one way to appease Mackenzi's apparently massive fan club. Just no complaining if he doesn't get any protection and the receivers drop his passes.

Also, Jared Funk will be moved to backup quarterback from his position on the punt coverage team.

Funk's a fourth-year junior who's never taken a snap. The prediction here is that he'll take some snaps this season and then graduate. Freshman Charlie Goro's has been toting the clipboard with plans to redshirt, and another hotshot recruit, Nash Nance, arrives on campus next summer.

But if Mackenzi plays badly, look for fans to start calling for Johnson to burn the redshirt off Goro.

And if Mac goes down, Goro would be an injury away from being our starter unless we really want to play walk-on Matt Casas against, say, Tennessee in Knoxville. That would sort of be a microcosm of our season, wouldn't it? How many defensive touchdowns would Monte's boys score in that one? Or Zac Stacy could just run the Wildcat every single play like he did against Army and get his other ankle injured.

But here's a thought: Last year Larry Smith was forced into his first action in the last two games of the season, established himself as a legitimate contender to start at quarterback and won the job in the preseason. For those of you Goro fans out there, Charlie could be playing before the season's over, and with nothing to lose just like Larry last year, and if he looks serviceable and shows the same coolness in the huddle that Larry showed in the bowl, then Goro could get serious consideration in the spring.

Otherwise, expect Goro to get the same sort of tepid preseason endorsement that Larry got as a redshirt freshman and Funk's been getting since he showed up on campus and, frankly, Mac got this preseason. And there's no way that Goro as a redshirt freshman beats out Smith for the starting job, especially since Smith has been anointed the future of the team.

No, Goro's going to need some playing time this season in order to compete for the starting position next season or at least put some heat on Larry to improve.

I still like Larry Smith and believe he can be a star in 2010 and 2011. And I want to see Mac go out a winner. But if the coaching staff has any doubts about Larry's ability to go the distance as the starter next season, they should at least consider burning the redshirt off Goro if he's ready and getting him some big-game action right now.


Anonymous said...

The main difference between this year's situation with Goro and last year with Smith is that Smith had already redshirted and we were still battling for a better bowl spot. There is no reason to burn off Goro's redshirt for 2-3 games and cut his career short by a year for games that in the long run don't matter that much.


Good point. But we need to try to win next season, not four years from now. If Goro is looking good in practice and we think we want to give him the reins next season then we should at least consider getting him some PT this season and take his lumps. Just a thought. I'm fine with us finishing up with Mac and even getting Funk some reps before they both graduate (I think Funk will leave after this season, his fourth). And I do believe Larry will be our starter this season.

Anonymous said...

Have you given any thought to a new motto? Maybe "a bowl victory every generation" or something. Could have the makings of a contest of some sort.


Yeah, we're definitely gonna need a new motto. Thanks for pointing it out.