Vanderbilt looks to shake off effects of critical non-call against South Carolina

Monday, September 3, 2012 at 9:41pm

The replays confirmed what James Franklin saw.

And 15 minutes later, so did the SEC.

Conference officials contacted the Vanderbilt coach minutes after a 17-13 season-opening loss to No. 9 South Carolina last Thursday. 
On Monday, in preparation for Saturday’s game at Northwestern, Franklin refused to disclose the details of the conversation, which presumably included an apology for a missed pass interference call against South Carolina.

With 1:47 left, Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews failed to haul in a fourth-down pass but replays showed that safety D.J. Swearinger grabbed Matthews’ left arm before the ball arrived. Possession went to the Gamecocks, who ran out the clock.

Like he did on Thursday, Franklin chose not to comment for fear of getting fined with stiffer league rules in regards to coaches’ remarks about officiating. He said when officials do make a mistake, however, the league office is forthcoming.

“It’s hard to hear sometimes but I respect that. I really do,” Franklin said. “I appreciate the honesty from the SEC and the office. I think we have very good officiating in the SEC.”

Right after the play, Franklin was seen motioning to an official that Swearinger tugged on Matthews’ arm.  After every SEC game, the Vanderbilt coaches send in questions or ask the league for clarification about certain plays.

“I think we have to widen our gap on the field and not every single call will be so heart-breaking to all of us,” Franklin said. “… I actually think the officiating in the SEC is really good. I think you when you play a bunch of very close games like we do, every call is magnified. When we start being able to spread the gap and have more significant wins where every call is not so important for us, they won’t cut as deep for us.”


• Judging by Franklin’s emotionless tone and choice of tense, Warren Norman’s carries could be numbered – or non-existent.

The 5-foot-10 junior running back hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 30, 2010. Apparently the former SEC freshman of the year hasn’t impressed the coaches enough for them to take a chance on his surgically repaired right knee. He is listed on the second team but Franklin said Norman’s status for Saturday is still in the balance.

“If he has a good week of practice, he’ll get some carries. If he doesn’t, he won’t,” Franklin said. “I love Warren. He is a great kid, good student. Had a nice career here. We’ll see what he does this week. If he has a great week of practice, he’ll play.”

• Joining Norman on the list of uncertainty is running back Jerron Seymour. The sophomore was no in uniform on Thursday and was not listed on this week’s depth chart. Franklin doesn’t know if the sophomore will travel and plans to make that decision by Thursday morning.

The 5-foot-7, 190-pounder was third on the team in rushing last year but battled a knee injury. He was limited in practice during the preseason.

Wesley Tate has moved from second-team receiver to Zac Stacy's backup and a spot on the first team if the Commodores feature a two-back set. The 215-pounder rushed seven times for 17 yards against South Carolina. Brian Kimbrow moves to the second team after the true freshman had two carries for five yards.

• More than 4.1 million viewers tuned into see Vanderbilt and South Carolina kick off the college football season for ESPN’s most-watched Thursday night season opener since 1994.

The SEC battle drew a 3.0 national rating, which is the highest since Virginia and Auburn opened the season in 1998.

15 Comments on this post:

By: shinestx on 9/4/12 at 3:36

Coach Franklin is a really smart guy. I wish him all the best at VU. That "non call" was just more of the same old sloppy officiating that goes on in the NCAA. If a team is "not supposed" to win, then it doesn't get the right calls. Go 'Dores!

By: Rasputin72 on 9/4/12 at 5:34

Vanderbilt historically has never been good enough to overcome the talent of other SEC teams and the disrespect of officials. The no call was so blatant that only an official who was looking for a good grade and no controversy from a top 10 team coach could have not made that call.

The official probably thought Vanderbilt has gotten a moral victory and that is all they deserve.

By: wiseguy1 on 9/4/12 at 5:50

Historically Rasputin is a sour puss ... don't let him provoke an emotional reply.

Game was not about the no-call but that is what everybody seems to remember. Just like @ UF last year. Sure it stings. But so does coming away with no points from SC errors in 1st qtr.

Button up for a good week of practice and leave no doubt at Northwestern on Saturday.

By: joe41 on 9/4/12 at 6:43

As I have said before, we still need quicker reads and decisions at QB in order for this team to be in the top ten. I don't quarrel with the officiating. It is equally bad for both teams. Witness the Georgia Tech Virginia Tech game last night. I am with Coach on not making any deal about officiating. It does no good. What does is people catching passes and making quick decisions on the field.


By: Rasputin72 on 9/4/12 at 7:27

WiseGuy........I have 60 plus years of history on my side. What you have is "Hope & Change"

I saw how "Hope & Change" worked for the average American commoner when they elected Barack Hussein Obama.

By: Badbob on 9/4/12 at 7:51

LOL according to Rasputin, if Romney is elected, Vanderbilt will win the SEC football championship!

wiseguy is correct. In the SEC, you have to score every time you get a break. Vandy intercepted a pass and soon was 1st and goal on the 4th... where they turned the ball over to SC. THAT is why Vandy lost. THAT is why Vandy gets no respect.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/4/12 at 8:11

BADBOB........You are so correct! Romney has the same chance of being elected as Vanderbilt has of winning an SEC championship/

By: wiseguy1 on 9/4/12 at 8:19

Ras ... that 60 year history is not yours alone, unless you have an sinister influence cloaked in secrecy somewhere. I share a good 40 of those years of history too. You should take the mirrors off and focus on what is ahead. Look forward.

Instead of the "hope & change" smoke & miriors I see an agressive coaching staff that plays to win. They believe respectable play and moral victories are for someone else. I see an administration committed to getting the necessary resources to win consistently.

This won't happen over night. There will be ups and downs along the way. When Bear Bryant arrived in Tusacaloosa, his success was anything but over night. Bear's succes was not every year either. He had some 5-6 & 6-5 years sprinkled in with the championships. Same story when Bobby Bowden showed up in Tallahassee or Joe Parterno aarrived in College Station. Is James Franklin another Bear Bryant, or Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno or maybe a Vince Dooley? Don't know yet, but give him some time. I do not believe James Franklin is another Steve Sloan or Gerry DiNardo.

Dang, ignored my own advice and got sucked into the Rasputin vortex. Maybe you do have some sinister thinig going on.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/4/12 at 10:14

WISEGUY..........Don't blame me for quoting history. I was a young naive believer at one time as well. Thank goodness there are still those like you who are determined to believe. For some of us this "Anchor Down" and James Franklin aura are just another of the ploys and head fakes that we have seen since 1948. Our best effort was the 1955 Gator Bowl team.

By: wiseguy1 on 9/4/12 at 11:15

I don't blame you for quoting history, I blame for not recognizing the differences between now and the past 60 years. When was the last time since 1948 Vanderbilt Administration made a commitment to supporting football or, athletics in general, on the magnitude that we currently see? Memorial Gym, circa 1952? MG originally doubled as a concert hall. I too attended concerts in Memoral Gym. 2001 Curry Tennis Center? 2002 Hawkins Field? The latter two were because of special gifts from benfactors. Facelifts on decrepit/dilapidated facilities don't count.

By: Bennyhaha on 9/4/12 at 11:58

Rasputin is trolling folks, you are feeding the sickness by responding. Think about it, He makes negative comments early in the day, then spends his whole day logging back onto this site hoping he has lured a response from someone who he can then bicker with. There are actual chat rooms and message boards for actual conversation but users would IGNORE him, AND the Tennessean no longer allows it, but for now The City Paper is this sick mans playground where he is a very powerful person as long as he gets responses and can tell you how wrong you are and that he is the Authority. His previous alias said David Price is a choker so now he is Rasputin.

l: Question: What Is an Internet 'Troll'? How Should I Deal With Trolls?

Answer: An internet 'troll' is an abusive and obnoxious user who promotes hate and disharmony in online communities. Named after the wicked troll creatures of children's tales, an internet troll is someone who stirs up drama and abuses their online anonymity by purposely sowing hatred, bigotry, racism, mysogyny, or just simple bickering between others. Trolls like a big audience, so they frequent blog sites, news sites, discussion forums, and game chat. Trolls thrive in any environment where they are allowed to make public comments.

The Sad Truths of Internet Trolls:

1.Trolls are immune to criticism and logical arguments. True trolls cannot be reasoned with, regardless of how sound your logical argument is.
2.Trolls do not feel remorse like you and me. They have sociopathic tendencies, and accordingly, they delight in other people having hurt feelings.
3.Trolls consider themselves separate from the social order.
4.Trolls do not abide by etiquette or the rules of common courtesy.
5.Trolls consider themselves above social responsibility.
6.Trolls gain energy by you insulting them.
7.Trolls gain energy when you get angry.
8.The only way to deal with a troll is to ignore him, or take away his ability to post online.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/4/12 at 12:06

BennyHaHa.......I agree with the troll defintion. That however is not your personal deffniton of a troll. Your personal defintion of a troll is anyone who makes a comment that you disagree with. In the case of the Vanderbilt I never post anything but history. It is without a doubt very negative. I did not create that negativity. Vanderbilt University football team did that to themselves.

In the case of not believing that Vanderbilt has made a committment to win at football I have seen at least 7 committments over th last 60 odd years that was supposed to turn the program around. Why am I supposed to believe that this is any different than the previous "remewal and rededication programs"

My goodness Benny, no wonder your raises are few and far between.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/4/12 at 12:09

BennyHaHa......David Price is a first class human and a credit to Vanderbilt his parents and anyone else that claims him. How is he doing this year? I have not kept up with major league baseball this year. Too much traveling out of the country.

By: Bennyhaha on 9/4/12 at 1:26

Seriously, 2 replies within 11 minutes of my post. He is literally staring at his computer waiting for someone to bicker with. I happen to be in a waiting room or wouldnt have noticed the reply but of all the incorrect and negative info Rasputin's previous alias have spewed, my favorite is he used David Price as his example of the loser culture at Vanderbilt, yet now doesnt know how Price is doing because he is so busy travelling the world. How sad.

By: Rasputin72 on 9/4/12 at 3:13

BennyHaHa...........Just for the record, and of course historically speaking David Price threw a gopher ball to a 200 hitter and he hit all the way to Memorial Gym. Vanderbilt best team in baseball history was beaten by Michigan at Hawkins Field. Just an example of Vanderbilt's history.\

Nothing personal,just history. Vanderbilt has a culture of being a loser. That to me is no different than saying Vanderbilt has a culture of attracting private school educated kids from very wealthy families.

I was for many many many years a Vanderbilt season ticket holder for basketball and football and a Commodore Club member. I had two daughters who graduated from Vanderbilt.

You must restrain yourself from misconstruing facts from trolling.