James Franklin Isn’t Afraid Of Facing Tyler Bray


Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray broke his thumb at the end of the Georgia game, and their offense has had about 20 percent of the production they had when Bray was playing every week.

Bray has been cleared to practice this week, but Derek Dooley is unsure if he will actually play on Saturday. He will decide that in pregame warmups. And if he does play, he will likely not be as potent as he was before he went down with his thumb injury.

“I’ve never had this experience. I think it’s very difficult [to come back],” Dooley said. “Of course, in Knoxville, everybody wanted Tyler to show up and Tinker Bell has his thumb fixed perfectly and he’s back to form the way he was five weeks ago, and that’s just not reality.

“Even if his thumb wasn’t broken, and he just took five weeks off and then came back, it’s hard for anybody to expect him to go out there and perform the way he was performing early in the season. It just takes time.”

“He’s not even close to what he was before he got injured — not even close. He’s got a broken thumb, so you can’t grip the ball and throw it the way you do when you don’t have a broken thumb. It’s going to take some time, guys. It’s like everything around here: We want immediate fixes and his thumb is not fixed.

You don’t just put magic serum on it and he can go throw like he did five weeks ago. It will come. I don’t know if it’s be this week.”

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin made it clear he wants Tyler Bray at quarterback, obviously to eliminate excuse factors if the Commodores were to beat the Vols on Saturday.

“We hope he plays,” said Franklin, referring to Bray. “We look forward to the challenge. Our kids are excited about it. And to be honest, watching them on film, it’s not like they’ve changed dramatically with Worley or whoever’s playing. They’re running very, very similar schemes.

“Obviously, with a veteran quarterback who’s had success, they’re able to do a little bit more, but it’s not like they go from a drop-back quarterback to an option quarterback or a dual-threat quarterback. It’s a very similar scheme, and it doesn’t change too much of what we’re going to do.”

Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt this weekend, in what could grow to be an in-state rivalry, shifting away from a Tennessee landslide in the past. This is not your daddy’s Vanderbilt. This is a new Vanderbilt, and I can guarantee you the Dores will be ready to take on the Vols on Saturday.



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  • The “new” Vanderbilt has beat one team with a record of .500 or better and that was Elon, an FCS program that is currently 5-5. I’ll give the ‘Dores their due for putting up tough battles with Florida, Arkansas, and Georgia but the end result was still a loss. They have 2 SEC wins over the 2 worst SEC teams, Ole Miss & the KY Cats.

    Franklin is probably not afraid to face Tyler Bray, if he is then he shouldn’t be coaching in the SEC. That being said, he knows, you know and I know that he’d much rather face the Vols without Tyler Bray. With Bray, Franklin says “they’re able to do a little bit more.” A little bit more, are you kidding me? IMO, he’s the best passing quarterback in the SEC, hands down. He can do more than a little bit. Regardless of the “games” that Dooley is playing, saying that Bray is “questionable” not anywhere close to where he was, etc., he’ll be good enough to beat Vandy.

    They may not be my daddy’s Vanderbilt, but they’re still the “little brother” in the Volunteer State.

    • Sorry, Bray is, maybe, the 2nd best QB in the SEC… Tyler Wilson has him beaten hands down!!

      • I like Arkansas’ version of #8 Tyler as well, but just have to disagree. Arkansas receivers are out of this world. We will see who the NFL experts think is best in a year or two at the draft. Bray is easily a first-rounder and likely will be the first quarterback taken when he comes out.

    • Yea but I think your starting to feel the footsteps of “little brother ” growing up a little too fast aren’t you and you don’t like that very much. Jordon Rodgers is a better QB and you guys will be floored when Vandy starts winning some of the big recruiting wars in state – like already seems to be happening . Sometime “little brother ” grows up and becomes bigger and stronger than big brother. Don’t think it can’t happen especially with your inept head coach.

  • Vanderbilt will always be “your daddy’s Vanderbilt”. They were 7-6 in 2008 and 4-4 in the SEC. And then the next year they sucked. They’ll have a year or two where they are good, and then fall back off into the cellar of the conference. It’s not a knock on Vandy because they’re an academic school first so it’s a little bit harder to attract elite athletes who dream of nothing but the NFL.

  • The only thing Wilson leads the SEC Qb’s in is Total Yards which isn’t surprising under Bobby Petrino. He has 70 more attempts than Murray. Wilson definately isn’t the best QB inb the SEC.

    Passing Yards LEADERS – All Players
    1 Tyler Wilson,QB ARK 342 211 61.7 2850 8.3 68 18 5 17 146.1
    2 Aaron Murray, QB UGA 273 167 61.2 2284 8.4 75 27 8 21 158.2
    3 AJ McCarron, QB ALA 252 164 65.1 2026 8.0 69 10 5 10 141.7
    4 Tyler Bray, QB TENN 176 116 65.9 1579 9.0 81 14 2 8 165.3
    5 John Brantley, QB FLA 181 107 59.1 1479 8.2 83 6 3 13 135.4
    6 Jarrett Lee, QB LSU 166 103 62.0 1289 7.8 57 14 3 4 151.5
    7 Jordan Rodgers, QB VAN 155 80 51.6 1166 7.5 49 7 6 8 122.0
    8 Randall Mackey, QB MISS 155 77 49.7 1112 7.2 59 7 5 21 118.4
    9 Chris Relf, QB MSST 158 94 59.5 1013 6.4 44 7 6 11 120.4
    10 Barrett Trotter, QB AUB 149 81 54.4 1009 6.8 56 10 6 13 125.3

    • I agree. I try to not be a “homer”; I realize when talent reveals itself no matter what team they play for. But look at this above list. Bray hasn’t played in the last 5 games. He’s still 4th on this list in total yards. And he didn’t have his #1 reciever for 3 of the 5 games he has played. His QB rating still leads the league, as well. Wilson is a great quarterback, but Bray is #1 (when healthy) in the SEC IMO.

  • The good news for us is that Bray isn’t afraid of anyone. He’s the best QB in the conference, and he’s going to uncork one on Vandy.

  • I would honestly say that Tyler Bray is as good as if not better than Andrew Luck. Luck plays in a conference that has very little defense.

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