NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Defensive end Kyle Woestmann knows teams that feature running quarterbacks like Johnny Manziel and Jeff Driskel will notice what Bo Wallace of Ole Miss did against Vanderbilt.
So tightening up the run defense is a priority for the Commodores.
Wallace ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns, while his backup ran for two more TDs. Worse, the Commodores let Jeff Scott escape for a 75-yard TD that beat Vanderbilt 39-35 in the season opener. Woestmann said Monday they feel their lack of discipline on defense let a win slip away.
"We'll silence that in practice, and that'll be the end of it the whole season," Woestmann said.
The last time a quarterback gashed Vanderbilt so effectively was Driskel last season, and Florida won that game 31-17 as the quarterback ran for 177 yards and three TDs. Woestmann said there were times in that game where he had Driskel only to fall for the zone read, allowing the quarterback to run for 20 yards.
The Commodores (0-1) host Austin Peay (0-1) on Saturday night. The Governors of the Football Championship Subdivision lost 45-0 at Tennessee to open the season, and Andrew Spivey isn't a running threat at quarterback.
But Vanderbilt will see plenty of those quarterbacks this season. The Commodores host James Franklin and Missouri on Oct. 5. The Commodores also visit Manziel and Texas A&M on Oct. 26 with another chance to slow down Driskel on Nov. 9. Kentucky also has a running threat in quarterback Jalen Whitlow.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin wasn't happy with what he saw on film of the loss to Ole Miss. The coach also didn't sound too concerned about his run defense being easy to correct with the issue being sound with gap control and assignments with players doing their jobs.
"We just have to be a lot more disciplined with everything we're doing when we're facing those types of schemes," Franklin said.
Vanderbilt has seven starters back from a team that held opponents to an average of 142.2 yards rushing last season. Still, effort was part of the problem for the Commodores on Scott's touchdown run.
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