Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin took some time on Monday to speak about his team’s upcoming matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers.
Here’s what he had to say about the Vols.
(On Butch Jones): Butch Jones has done a good job at Tennessee. They have 13 starters returning from last season. We have the advantage in turnovers, but Tennessee has the advantage in penalties
(On Tennessee’s defense): Defensively, John Jancek has done a nice job. They play a 4-3 or what we call a quarters defense or cover four. They have a massive guy playing defensive tackle in Daniel McCullers, he’s 6-8 – 350. Their defense has played very well at home this season. Everybody is familiar with their linebacker AJ Johnson, he’s very active and a big guy who runs really well. Brian Randolph and Jacques Smith have also done a nice job for them.
(On Tennessee’s offense): Offensively, Mike Bajakian does a nice job. They have a very balanced offense, but their strength is the offensive line. They are massive upfront and very athletic. Freshman Josh Dobbs has done a nice job for them, he’s a guy we are familiar with through recruiting. They are running the ball very well overall.
(On Tennessee’s special teams): Their special teams coordinator Mark Elder has done a nice job for them. Their kicker is the same as their punter, which is unusual.
(On the rivalry with Tennessee): I think this is good for the state of Tennessee, I think it is good for our program and UT’s program and I think it’ll be good for the SEC. There is no doubt that you’d like this game to become a rivalry, those are fun games to be apart of. I just don’t think this is there yet
(On Tennessee’s offensive line): It’s one thing to have size, its one thing to have athleticism and its one thing to have experience. It’s another thing to have a combination of all three of those. Those guys have been playing at a high level for a long time together
(On Josh Dobbs): I think in general he is smart, he’s athletic and he seems extremely poised as a freshman. It helps that he plays behind such a big and athletic offensive line, but they’ve also done a nice job at putting good players around him
Vanderbilt and Tennessee kick-off at 7:00 PM ET on Saturday night. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.