Vanderbilt coach James Franklin knows Saturday’s opponent a little better than others he and his team will face this season.
That’s because he and UConn defensive coordinator Don Brown worked together at Maryland before Franklin took the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Brown was the defensive coordinator, while Franklin was the offensive coordinator.
These two have had many a battle together, but none will be like this weekend’s when they meet wearing different colors.
Fortunately for Vanderbilt, who is coming off a solid 45-14 win over Elon in Franklin’s debut, Franklin knows some of the tendencies of his old friend, like a very aggressive pass rush.
“I know who we’re facing,” Franklin said. “I think he’s got the talent and he’s got the experience on the defensive side of the ball.
“He’s got a more complete situation there right now than maybe what we had in years’ past.”
Fordham managed just 169 total yards against the Huskies last week, while the Commodores had 309 yards of offense against Elon.
It wasn’t a great offensive performance for Vandy, but Franklin expects to see improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. He’s also not afraid to take some risks to create plays for his team and generate some life for the offense if needed. Like the three fourth downs he converted against Elon.
“As we all know, we have a big job to do at Vanderbilt and we’re going to have to be willing to take some risks and do some things; no different than a lot of coaches across the country,” Franklin said.