The Vanderbilt Commodores are ready to run in 2014. With a roster void of any real threats in the receiving corp, the Vandy running backs will be happy to make up that production on the ground. This will be a physical running team
Coach Derek Mason, who is in his first year as head coach, will pattern his offense similar to that of Stanford. Stanford was always big, and they were always physical. Vandy will try to play this style in the SEC, and I think fans will enjoy the show.
After naming Patton Robinette as the starter this week, the running backs will now become the focus. The Commodores will trot out a threesome at tailback. They will all be called upon to play a significant role in this offense throughout the season.
I believe they will start Ralph Webb when Temple comes to Music City Thursday night. Webb is a 5’10” 196 Redshirt Freshman from Florida. He has had a fantastic camp according to Coach Mason, and seems to stand out just a little more than the others. He is a powerful runner and has decent speed. This team will line up with 2 tight ends and sometimes 3. This alignment will showcase the tough running style of Webb.
Backing up Webb will be last years star rusher Brian Kimbrow. Kimbrow, a 5’8″ 185 Junior had a very good season in 2013 under James Franklin. He spelled leading rusher Jerron Seymour last season, and rushed for 379 yards in the process. Seymour has been out for about 2 weeks with an injury, but will be back this season when he is ready.
Another young back they are extremely excited about is 4 star Freshman Dallas Rivers from Georgia. He is a bigger version of Webb, and is going to be a very physical presence at 6’1″ and 225 pounds. I look for him to get plenty of work against a very weak Temple team.
I expect this team to put up 200 plus yards on the ground in the opener. They should be able to impose their will late in the third quarter and on into the fourth quarter. It will be a different looking team for sure under Mason. If he wins, the fans won’t care how the yards are gained. It may not be pretty, but winning is all that matters, especially after the Franklin era over on West End.