& Answers with Vanderbilt head coach Woody Widenhofer
1: The past several
years Vanderbilt has played Tennessee really tough. What are your expectations
for this game as you make plans for Tennessee?
"First of all, I want to congratulate Tennessee on a fine victory
at Kentucky. I am sure they didn't win it the way they wanted, but a win
is a win and coming from behind like they did showed a lot of integrity
and character in their team. It was a very fine victory."
"Because it is
an intrastate rivalry and Vanderbilt is always picked as the underdog,
the kids fight a little bit harder for some reason when they play Tennessee.
I just hope they have some fight left."
2: What are your
thoughts on planning to handle Casey Clausen and his playmaking ability
as compared to some of the games you had early in the season.
"We are not the same type of football team that we were in some of
those ballgames. We are awfully banged up. I stepped down a few weeks
ago and it is kind of a real test for these kids to go out on Saturdays
since I have stepped down and fight until the end together. They know
the head coach and the coaching staff will not be back next year. It is
kind of a different situation."
3: What are some
of your thoughts on facing this Tennessee team?
"They are still a strong Tennessee team in terms of running the football.
Travis Stephens is having a phenomenal year. With Donte` Stallworth and
Kelley Washington out there as wideouts, they have two really experienced
wide receivers that are very capable of making a big play. They are still
every bit as good a football team as any Tennessee team we have played."
4: Talk about some
of the players who have stood out for you this season.
"Defensively, I think Hunter Hillenmeyer has been very steady all
year long. I think our nose man Brett Beard has played outstanding football
throughout the course of the season, and he is only a redshirt sophomore.
He is about 295 pounds and 6-5, and that is where his capabilities are,
in his strength and size. He has done well there. Also, Chuck Losey, our
right defensive end, has played extremely well throughout the year. We
got a little banged up in the secondary and that probably has really been
what has let us down."
5: What do you
think about your team's chances with Zolman as your triggerman?
"That is probably our strongest part of our offense is our passing
game, with Greg Zolman, a redshirt senior. He has really grown well with
the offense, and, of course, the receiving corps of Dan Stricker and M.
J. Garrett and the others have done quite well this year. I believe that,
if we are going to move the ball well against Tennessee, it will be through