Last years 6-6 record was a step in the right direction for
Vanderbilt football, there is no doubt about it. Though falling to Cincinnati
in the Autozone Liberty Bowl was not ideal for head coach James Franklin, it
was a vast improvement for the Commodores we have been accustom to. One of the
best traits Franklin has is confidence and that is what's needed when you play
in the most physical conference in the nation. Confidence builds character,
excels motivation, and develops team chemistry. Confidence also signals
Since Franklin has been at the helm of the Anchor Down Nation, more good than bad has been implemented within the Vandy program outside the white lines. A new digital scoreboard, a new battle cry, plans for an indoor athletic facility, and a redesigned marketing campaign all have injected Nashville’s West End with positivity.
The surrounding pieces are in place but now it’s time for Vanderbilt to take the next step and show a new and improved product on the field. A tough loss to South Carolina in the season opener could be blamed on a questionable no-call but Franklin’s demeanor moves on to the following week. The Dores then travel to Northwestern and a sack/fumble on quarterback Jordan Rodgers spoils their trip to Evansville, as they sit winless looking for answers. In becoming a quality football program, you need to win the close games you play in and handle the teams you are expected to beat. In two games this season, Vandy has struggled in both categories.
This week, Franklin said in his press conference, like any coach would, "I believe in these kids, I believe in this program, and I love our fans. We’ve seen some tough times in our past, we’re seeing some tough times right now, but our future is bright. Nobody can tell me any different."
The fact of the matter is that Vanderbilt's all to familiar with tough times. Bark is good but bite is better.
Vanderbilt plays host to Presbyterian (1-1) this week in a very winnable game. Maybe all the Dores need is a victory to build the confidence Franklin has been preaching and create momentum moving into the heart of SEC play.
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