August 31, 2008

What have we learned from the Miami win?

Vanderbilt registered a convincing 34-13 win over Miami on Thursday - but was it enough to convince the media and fans that a winning season is right around the corner?

It appears some pressing questions were answered on Thursday. But an over-hyped but under-prepared Miami team may not have forced coach Bobby Johnson to show enough of his hand to make a judgment on what is in store for 2008.


1. Hahnfeldt and Upson are for real.
Special teams has long been a Vandy strong suit, but the Commodores have struggled to regain consistency since the injury of Bryant Hahnfeldt two years ago. But on Thursday, the Vanderbilt kicker did nothing but ace every test that was presented to him. His 42-yard field goal split the uprights right down the center, and would have passed the crossbars from at least 15 yards farther out. Furthermore, clean snaps and holds were a good sign that VU's place kicking fortunes may be a strong suit this season.

In addition, despite hardly practicing this fall due to an injury, Brett Upson was absolutely flawless at punter. His coffin corner kick that squirted out of bounds at the six took whatever air Red Hawk faithful had out of their ball. If Upson can continue that kind of performance, he'll single-handedly remove points from the opponents' scoreboard in every game VU plays this season.

2. Nickson is the best quarterback on the roster.

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