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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Switching quarterbacks easy call for Johnson

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson didn't understand what all the fuss was about in August. He waited until the week of the opener before announcing who is starting quarterback would be.

"We feel like we've got two guys who can win for us," Johnson said at the time.

Chris Nickson started the season healthy and got the nod. But the same shoulder that plagued Nickson last season is acting up again, and Johnson is going with Mackenzi Adams as his starter in Saturday's game at Georgia.

In the last two games, Adams has been the more effective quarterback. He deserves a chance to see what he can do as the starter, especially with Nickson clearly not 100 percent.

Adams is more comfortable throwing from the pocket than Nickson. He's not as dangerous a runner as Nickson, but is good enough with his feet to keep defenses honest.

The thing that Johnson likes so much about Adams, who started the final six games a year ago, is that he's always ready, always mentally into the game and never tentative.

Adams is no stranger to playing against Georgia, either. He was the one that led the Commodores on what appeared to be clinching drive deep into the Bulldogs' territory last season, but running back Cassen Jackson-Garrison lost a fumble at the Bulldogs' 7 with 2:43 to play.

Georgia went on to win 20-17 with a field goal as time expired.

Nickson had really struggled to throw the ball in recent games, allowing teams to cheat more and more toward the line of scrimmage. Adams' ability to throw the ball should keep defenses from loading up against the Commodores, who managed just 107 yards of total offense last week in their 17-14 loss at Mississippi State.