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Video: Stokes’ goal-line hit vs. UK

Vanderbilt linebacker John Stokes delivers a big hit to keep Kentucky tailback Raymond Sanders from crossing the goal line on third down. The Commodores would also stop the Wildcats’ fourth down attempt.
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Stokes’ goal-line hit vs. Kentucky

Vanderbilt linebacker John Stokes delivers a big hit to keep Kentucky tailback Raymond Sanders from crossing the goal line on third down. The Commodores would also stop the Wildcats’ fourth down attempt.
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Transcript: Vanderbilt head coach talks Kentucky

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(AP photo/Butch Dill)

Vandy coach Robbie Caldwell at SEC Media Days in July. (AP photo/Butch Dill)

Transcript of Vanderbilt coach Robbie Caldwell’s press conference today:

Vanderbilt Head Coach Robbie Caldwell – 11/8/10

Opening statement:
“After watching the tape, Saturday was an ugly day. We had a lot of things go wrong and a lot of things that are correctable so we are excited to get to work on that and get ready to play Kentucky. Right now, we are a little fragile, a little beat up, a little undermanned. We have more in the training room than we have on the field but hopefully we can get some of them back by Wednesday and we’ll be ready to go to work. I’m excited about the challenge and we are doing everything we possibly can to win football games. That’s what we are doing, everything we possibly can. That’s our plan and we hope we can win out.”

On trying to get Zac Stacy back on the field:
“It’ll be difficult but I know that Zac is doing everything he possibly can to get ready. It’s a very scary thing but thankfully it turned out to be a concussion. Obviously, Vanderbilt is just tremendous at taking every precaution they possibly can. I got to spend some time Saturday in the emergency room with his mom and brother. His brother was very upset to see him lying on the table but it was great to be able to comfort them a little bit. Our doctors were just outstanding.”

On the injuries:
“This time of year this has become a regular thing for us. We have plans for it and are making preparations offensively to do things, from moving people over to possibly going empty with five wide receivers. We need to use the healthy people we have. We are going to find a way to move the ball, score points and win this game.”

On Wesley Tate and the running situation:
“He was in the training room and is a little stronger today. Whether he’ll be able to give us something is yet to be seen but hopefully we’ll know more Thursday. Kennard Reeves is healthy and I know he’ll give it his all. We talked last week about the possibility of Eric Samuels or Micah Powell, who we converted over to running back a few weeks back. Reece Lovell is another guy that we hope can spell us here and there.”

On if Florida’s athleticism led to the punt blocks:
“It certainly can. If you are not doing what your supposed to do, then that’s what happens. You can’t go to sleep. We had two missed blocks and it resulted in two blocked punts. They also had a missed block that resulted in us getting a blocked punt. Unfortunately it happened at the wrong time of the game because we were playing extremely well defensively, getting after them. We made an error on the fake field goal and we think it could have been there. We have to go back to the drawing board and it’s something that goes back to me. I don’t shuck the responsibility. It’s my job to make sure we practice it every day. Maybe we need to practice a little more.”

On Walker May’s injury:
“Not good. I don’t know his status or whether he’ll be able to go at all this week. He’s pretty tender right now with a high ankle sprain. We already had Tim Fugger hurt going into the game but hopefully he’ll be back full speed. Johnell [Thomas] has a ding in his neck but he’s going to be fine. We were down to our third sub on the punt team because Walker and Johnell are our back-wall people. That was difficult but we’ll be ready and prepare three or four more this week.”

On if the offense will have to throw the ball more because of injuries:
“We might have to because when you don’t have any running backs you may have to do that. We don’t want to give too much away.”

On John Cole and John Stokes getting Academic All-America honors:
“It’s very important. We are very proud of our school here and very proud of our academics. We led the SEC again with 89 percent and we are disappointed. Quite frankly, my goal for the team is to have 100 percent graduation rate and I’m not afraid to reach for that high of a goal. Our goal is to lead the nation and we are usually in the top-five or so since we’ve been here. Hopefully we’ll continue to do that but we also want to compete in the [SEC] East. If we can do that on a consistent basis then we will have a chance to play for it all one day.”

On punter Richard Kent:
“We’ve been extremely pleased. He missed his mark a couple of times and was deep in it too. You look at all aspects and it starts with me. We weren’t all on our P’s and Q’s there and I don’t know if it was the excitement of playing the Gators or whatever, but we just didn’t do what we had been doing and that was one of our solid points. We probably give up fewer yards returned than anyone. In particular against the young man on LSU who is one of the best in the country. That was disappointing for us.”

On the recent success of playing in Lexington, Ky.:
“I don’t know, it’s kind of the like the Ole Miss deal. Sometimes you match up well with teams. Previously we had been matching up pretty good with people in our league and were competing and having the chance to win. As you see, we are rearranging offensively and trying to manage the clock a little better. We are trying to do that and are heading towards our plans for the future. We want to win now and that’s our goal.”

On Randall Cobb and Kentucky:
“I’m glad you asked that. I was talking and looking at some tape with our defensive staff and he might be the best all-around athlete in this league. He does everything; I think he holds for extra points. He does kickoff returns, punt returns, he’s a wideout, quarterback and running back. He does everything in their Wildcat offense. We know he can throw the ball and we’ve seen him do that. [Mike] Hartline might be the most improved player in the SEC. What a good job he’s done checking in and out of plays. He’s getting them in the right offense. They have a good offensive line. They have a few sophomores in there and things look bright for them. I’m very proud of that staff, you know they have David Turner. He’s worked here with us and I know him and got him his first job. I love him like a brother. To watch coach [Joker] Phillips in his first year trying to get bowl eligible. We hope we can make them squirm another week.”

On playing two first-year head coaches in the next two weeks and sharing sentiments:
“Yes I can. What a great joy for me. I mean, after all the years I’ve worked at this to sit down in the seat. Unfortunately, they got the job at and earlier time than I did and have been able to make some changes that we haven’t been able to make. We have to plan for the future and I’m excited about it. We want to win and give our fans something to cheer about and we’ve been able to do it here before.”

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Cole, Stokes named Academic All-District Team

Vanderbilt football players John Cole and John Stokes have been named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District IV first team, it was announced by the Academic All-America Committee Tuesday afternoon.
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Stokes finalist for Sportsmanship Award

Glenview, Ill. – Vanderbilt senior linebacker John Stokes has been named a finalist for the sixth annual ARA Sportsmanship Award. A blue-ribbon panel of former coaches, media members and collegiate administrators will select the winner, which will be announced in November.
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