Get Ready For Black & Gold Scrimmage With One of Best
Full-Contact Sessions of Spring
Campus in Nashville, Tenn. - In its last practice before the
Black & Gold Scrimmage, the Commodores put together one
of its best performances this spring during a 50-play scrimmage
The Commodores’ last spring session, the Black &
Gold Scrimmage, starts at 2:00 p.m. Saturday in Vanderbilt
Stadium. Commodore fans are encouraged to attend the event,
then take in free another attraction next door, the VU-Ole
Miss baseball game at Hawkins Field.
The lively scrimmage, which came at the end of practice Thursday,
fulfilled Head Coach Bobby Johnson’s desire to enter
the Black & Gold Scrimmage on a high note. The blend of
efficient offense, aggressive defense and overall team intensity
set up an ideal match this Saturday when the units square
“That was the kind of emotion, effort and desire we
are looking for at practice,” Johnson said. “I
saw people on both sides of the line either making plays and
trying hard to make plays. We need to carry it over to the
The offense, behind QB Jay Cutler, TB Kwane Doster and WR
Erik Davis, got off to a fast start, producing a 70-yard scoring
drive on the opening possession. Doster was particularly impressive,
carrying for 21 and 24 yards before scoring from the 2-yard
line. Cutler also carried for a first down and connected with
Davis on an 18-yard sideline reception that was one of the
finest witnessed this spring.
The offense seemed to continue its impressive showing in
the third series behind QB Benji Walker, TB Ron Bullock, TE
Dustin Dunning and WR Walter Clark. After driving deep into
the defense's territory, LB Kevin Joyce sacked Walker to stop
The play seemed to ignite the defense, as it limited the
offense to three first downs during the final four possessions.
Among the defenders making plays were DE Jovan Haye and LB
Marty Morgan, CB Dominique Morris, CB Lorenzo Parker, safety
Ben Koger, LB Herdley Harrison and DT Trey Holloway. The scrimmage
ended with a sack by safety Andrew Pace and DE Chris Booker
to stop a six-play drive.
Arnold Visits Practice
Jim Arnold, prehaps the finest punter in Southeastern Conference
history, stayed for much of the Thursday practice, and spent
time with Coach after the session. It was Arnold’s first
look this year at First Team Freshman All-American punter
Greg Johnson, who broke Arnold’s Commodore freshman
record for punting average.
Arnold, who spent much of his 11-year professional career
with Detroit, was the second former Commodore with connections
to the Lions to visit practice this week. Corey Harris, who
starred at Vanderbilt from 1988-91 and played for the Lions
last year, visited practice Tuesday.
Thompson, Tant Earn Gold Jerseys
A pair of redshirt sophomores, CB Cheron Thompson and FB
Matthew Tant, wore gold jerseys Thursday that Johnson distributed
at the start of practice. Thompson has been one of the most
consistent performers in the Commodore secondary while Tant
has improved his receiving and blocking techniques this spring
to go with a powerful running style.
The Black & Gold Scrimmage is Saturday
Gates at Vanderbilt Stadium will open Saturday at 1:00 p.m.,
with the practice starting at 2:00 p.m. The Black & Gold
Scrimmage will begin at about 2:45 p.m. Mr. Commodore and
Vanderbilt cheerleaders will welcome fans at Gate 2.
Just before the scrimmage begins, the team is expected to
announce its captains for the 2003 season.
Vanderbilt fans attending the scrimmage will receive a coupon
that is good for free admission to the VU-Ole Miss baseball
game that starts at 4:00 p.m. in Hawkins Field. The free admission
promotion is valid depending on ticket availability.