Monday, September 27, 2010

Vanderbilt hones offense, gets healthy during bye week

In his press conference today, Coach Robbie Caldwell said UConn is “much like Northwestern — maybe not the same at quarterback.” Northwestern’s Dan Persa is proving to be the real deal and is now the No. 2 rated quarterback in the nation in passing efficiency.

Caldwell listed UConn’s strengths as:
• A very strong power running game, with a big offensive line.
• An outstanding power back in Jordan Todman, who missed last week’s trouncing of Buffalo and is questionable for Saturday’s game.
• A big defensive front.

He said the team spent the bye week working on the following:
• On offense: Running the option, throwing screens, throwing the ball downfield, and protecting the passer
• On defense: Coverages and keeping pads down

As for people dismissing Vandy’s victory over Ole Miss, Caldwell said, “I saw where Ole Miss beat the dog crap out of Fresno so maybe we did something good down there.”

Caldwell said Saturday’s game at UConn will be officiated by an SEC crew. Maybe we can get the kind of home cooking that Northwestern got in Nashville from a Big 10 crew.


• TE Brandon Barden: Caldwell said Barden has been practicing and “looked pretty good running around.” Just in case, he’s being listed on the depth chart as a co-starter with redshirt freshman Mason Johnston.

• DT T.J. Greenstone says he’s ready to return from injury, but Caldwell said, “The verdict’s still out.” He’s being listed as a co-starter along with redshirt sophomore Colt Nichter, who spelled Greenstone against Ole Miss.

• DT Adam Smotherman is “not quite ready,” Caldwell said.

• Jamie Graham “looks like he’s gonna be ready,” Caldwell said. He said Graham will boost depth in the secondary, especially considering that starting safeties Sean Richardson and Jay Fullam are “nicked up.” True frosh Kenny Ladler started in place of Fullam against Ole Miss and looked sharp.

• Lineman Chris Aaron, who’s been out since preseason with an inner ear problem, is ready to return, says left tackle Wesley Johnson, but Caldwell did not confirm this.

• Wesley Tate continues to recover from a foot injury and will continue to become more involved in the offense as he regains the ability to cut on his foot.

• Warren Norman had fluid drained from his knee and is close to returning to old form. Both he and Zac Stacy “feel better” and “look better” according to Caldwell.

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