Vanderbilt Trying to Put Rivalry Back Into Annual Showdown With Tennessee

Tennessee can finish with a winning record in SEC play, if they can beat Vanderbilt in their regular season finale. 
A Vols win over Vandy used to be a given.
But the Commodores are trying hard to make this annual match-up a true rivalry.

    Tennessee used to carve up Vandy like a Thanksgiving turkey, but that hasn’t been the case in recent years.  The series record is 2-2 the last four years, and the Vols two victories have been by a touchdown or less.
Said Vols OL Kyler Kerbyson-"A lot of these guys don’t like us at all. You can tell by the way they play us every year."
Said Vanderbilt head coac Derek Mason-"What this game means. It means a lot to the people of this state. People here at Vanderbilt know. Just know that I know how much it means."
Added Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham-"Coaches are like emphasizing that rivalry. Gives us a different mindset coming into it as far as bringing a different type of intensity into the game."
    Saturday’s match-up will feature two 1,000 yard rushers in the Vols Jalen Hurd, and the Commodores Ralph Webb.
Said Vols head coach Butch Jones-"Ralph Webb is one of the best running backs we have in our conference. He means everything to them offensively. He gets the ball north and south. He can jump cut on a dime."
Said Mason-"Jalen Hurd is a big back with speed. He’s multi-dimesional. He has been really good this year."
    Vandy will lean heavily on their defense, which is fifth in the SEC in total defense.
Said Vols receiver Josh Malone-"They’re real good trying to force turnovers. You see on every one of their tackles, they’re always trying to pry the ball out. Just a simple ball disruption to try to get the ball back for their offense."
    Since the turf at Neyland Stadium has become an issue, reporters can’t resist asking Coach Jones a really, ‘turf’ question.
Reporter-"Going over to the stadium(for practice). Is that kind of a way to get an early look at the turf?"
Smiles Jones-"Don’t read into it, no."
Categories: College, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols

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