Vanderbilt, riding an SEC-high seven-game win streak (sounds crazy, but true), has been gearing up for months to open the year against Ole Miss. However, with only days remaining until the Dores’ and Rebs’ nationally-televised Thursday night showdown, coach James Franklin is already working the refs.
During a recent press conference, Franklin expressed disappointment over the fact that refs missed roughly a dozen plays (in his personal estimation, of course) during which Ole Miss still had offensive players moving when the ball was snapped. He used that information to subtly plant the idea in the heads of Thursday night’s referees to watch out for Ole Miss’ uptempo pace.
This per The Tennessean.
“When the ball is snapped, I want everybody set,” Franklin said at his Monday press conference. “We went back and looked at (film of the game against) Ole Miss last year and there was probably 10 to 12 plays when they snapped the ball, their offense wasn’t set. But the officials had a hard time keeping up with the pace to get in position to do that.
“So as long as everybody is playing by the same rules and this isn’t Canadian football where people are running toward the line of scrimmage when they snap the football, I’m good with it. I think it’s great for football. I think it (forces) people to stay on their toes and come up with answers.”
At least he has a real complaint. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, for example, simply whines about no-huddle offenses because they’re too fast, or something.
As for how Franklin is going to defend a no-huddle attack led by quarterback Bo Wallace and receiver Donte Moncrief, the man has got a plan.
“We’re going to run a tempo defense this year, which no one has ever heard of,” Franklin said jokingly. “You’re going to have to wait and see.”
Luckily, we don’t have to wait much longer – to see his defense or whether his words will have any affect on the refs’ judgements.