Vanderbilt held their first situational spring scrimmage Saturday. And for the first time in four springs, veteran leader and running back Zac Stacy wasn’t in the backfield.
The job is clearly returner Wesley Tate’s to lose, and he put together a strong scrimmage. He rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns, headlined by his 69-yard burst down the sideline and outrunning a safety for the score.
Tate will shoulder the load with returner Brian Kimbrow this season.
Austin Carta-Samuels and Patton Robinette are the two vying for the job this spring. ACS completed five of seven passes for 68 yards and one touchdown, while Robinette completed four of five for 46 yards and a touchdown, via The Tennessean.
“We got (Robinette) on the move on a couple of boots,” Franklin said. “He got out in open space and I’d like to see him throw, but the problem is in those plays, the defense wasn’t there to contain him. So go get that easy yardage and take it. And he did a good job with that.”
The Commodores’ offense is looking for efficiency at quarterback, not a big-time playmaker. The players around the quarterback – RB Wesley Tate and WRs Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd – are great enough to make an efficient and average quarterback look good. It’s all about consistency for Franklin’s offense.
The most concerning position of the Commodores’ spring lies along the defensive line. The new-look line had three step up Saturday. Kyle Woestmann, Darien Bryant and Stephen Weatherly made their presence felt. All three recorded sacks, with Bryant recovering a fumble.
Returners Walker May and Barron Dixon were out with injuries.
“I think Adam Butler has a chance to really do some nice things for us,” Vanderbilt coachJames Franklin said. “Darien Bryant is starting to grow up. Weatherly is starting to grow up. We’re getting some more play-making ability there.
“We have some of those guys that are out. We get them all back — I’m excited about our future. I think we have a chance on the defensive side of the ball to be really good.”
The second and third level to the Dores’ defense will be strong once more. However, the defensive tackle depth is of utmost concern.
Photo credit: Don McPeak-US Presswire