Commodores will go with Smith at quarterback in season opener

Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 10:18pm

Larry Smith will be Vanderbilt’s starting quarterback for the season opener against Northwestern on Sept. 4.

Head coach Robbie Caldwell made the announcement Sunday night after practice.

Smith has been the presumed starter throughout fall practice and took the majority of reps with the first string. He over redshirt-senior Jared Funk, junior college transfer Jordan Rodgers and redshirt-freshman Charlie Goro. Smith has 10 career starts, including the Commodores' victory over Boston College in the 2008 Music City Bowl.

"Larry has separated himself, and deserves to get the ball," Caldwell said. "He has the big edge on experience, and really understands the offense. I expect to see Larry play well Saturday."

In 2009, Smith completed 106 passes for 1,126 yards and four touchdowns in just nine games in Vanderbilt's first-year running a no-huddle offense. He also rushed for 213 yards before a hamstring injury ended his season early.

"I'm happy to be named the starter because all four of us competed for it," he said. "I'm much more familiar with the offense this season and confident that we will have more success."  

Funk was named the No. 2 quarterback. Though he has never attempted a pass in a game, he has extensive experience in the program.

"Jared also did a great job and really made it a competition,” Caldwell said “He'll be the No. 2 guy and will be ready to play if called upon. We have confidence in both of them.”