September 18, 2009

Johnson talking Mississippi State

Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson has paid his dues in Nashville and seems to finally have the Commodores turning the corner on becoming a solid program.

Johnson endured three consecutive two-win seasons to start his stint at Vandy before picking up steam with 14 wins over the next three years and finally reaching a winning season and also a bowl victory with a 7-6 record in 2008.

"Everything is a good bit better than when I got here," Johnson said. "Obviously we weren't very good back then. We are winning more games and playing better in big games. We actually had a winning season last year and went to a bowl so all of those things are positives. It helps attendance-wise, helps recruiting and helps having players motivated to win and practicing to win. If we can keep those things going in a positive direction, that's what we need to bring the program up to a consistent SEC contender."

The 16-14 Music City Bowl victory over Boston College was the Commodores first bowl appearance since 1982 and only their second bowl victory, the first coming in the Gator Bowl in 1955.

Vanderbilt is averaging 27 points per game and 415 yards on offense this season. The Commodores run and offense similar to Auburn, who racked up 589 yards of offense including 390 on the ground against Mississippi State last week.

Johnson has dissected the Bulldogs game against Auburn from last week hoping to have similar success.

"That's what coaches do, we watch the previous games forever," Johnson said. "We just watch it, watch it and watch it to try to get things that we feel like that maybe we can do that are similar or can do if there are weaknesses. You just can't say that you're going to do something just because the previous team did it. It's got to fit your scheme, your players and you've got to execute that well to so there are a lot of if's and and's to go along with that."

Johnson is preparing more for Dan Mullen and Les Koenning's offensive scheme more than he is preparing for MSU's dual quarterbacks. The Bulldogs have interchanged both senior Tyson Lee and sophomore Chris Relf behind center this season.

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