November 21, 2013

Thursday's notebook: stopping the run, making a rivalry from nothing

Vanderbilt and Tennessee get set to face off on Saturday night in Knoxville. With game day just two days away,'s Chris Lee files a notebook looking at the latest issues heading into Saturday's game.

Making a rivalry out of nothing When asked about the "rivalry" game between Vanderbilt and Tennessee, VU coach James Franklin has been careful to respect the series history and not make too big a deal of Vandy's 41-18 romp over the Vols in Nashville last season. Any long-time Commodore fan can understand that, for since 1982, VU's only other win since in the series came in 2005, when Jay Cutler and Earl Bennett led Vandy to an upset in Knoxville.

During that time, the rivalry hasn't just been lopsided in terms of overall wins and losses, but also in margins of victory as well. There were years that VU came close: seven times in that span, VU lost by a touchdown or less. But more often, the Vols had little trouble with the Commodores, as VU lost by 24 points or more 10 times in those three decades.

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