I posed a few questions to Vanderbilt Sports Line about our game this weekend.
(1) How is Nickson's injury? Will he be ready to play?
It didn’t look good earlier this week, with Adams (Nickson’s back-up) taking the vast majority of snaps on Tuesday. Wednesday, Chris Nickson and Mackenzi split their snaps, leading us to believe that Chris’ recovery is going better then we thought it would earlier in the week. With that said, Nickson’s performance on last Saturday was clearly affected by his hamstring. If he isn’t close 100%, there is no reason for him to start. Adams equipped himself reasonably well against Ole Miss last year in Oxford, and there is no reason to think he can’t do that again.
(2) Tell us a bit about Nickson's backup.
Adams showed signs of being able to get it done. Coaches have been saying good things about him all along. Nonetheless, he doesn't have the multiple dimensions of Nickson.
(3) Ole Miss has given up a lot of yards on Defense this year due mainly to the West Coast Offenses we've played. Vandy's offense at times runs West Coast formations. Do you think that Vandy will add even more West Coast plays to take advantage of our defense?
Hmmm... My instinct is to say yes, but I wonder if the coaches might be a bit more conservative with Adams at the helm. I think we should air it out and I suspect the coaches agree. As a practical matter, they're not going to change the whole offense to suit Adams -- he knows the system and can work within it. So, on balance yes, you will see West Coast plays, but I doubt any more than we'd throw at any other opponent.
(4) How will Vandy stop BenJarvus Green-Ellis?
Good question...Uh, well, considering we're 10th in the conference in rush defense after two games, one of which was against 1-AA Richmond, I'd say we've got our work cut out for us. Injuries and suspensions have really hurt the defensive line, and it showed last week. The Ole Miss offensive line is a force (I happen to think BJGE's success is more a product of the Hotty Toddy Bodies up front than his being a great running back). So how do we stop him? Rely on great play from LBs Jonathan Goff and Marcus Buggs, and look for a big game from DE Broderick Stewart. I wouldn't be surprised if Ole Miss scores three rushing touchdowns and Vanderbilt cornerback DJ Moore maintains the dubious distinction of being the SEC's leading tackler.
(5) Do you expect a good crowd this weekend?
(6) What is your prediction for the game?
Vanderbilt 33, Ole Miss 28