Johnson not stunned at all with VU win

Friday, September 5, 2008 at 2:44am

Perhaps the nation was stunned Thursday that Vanderbilt upset South Carolina for the second straight season.

VU coach Bobby Johnson wasn’t shocked in the least.

“I was surprised that so many people thought it would be real hard for us to beat them,” he said. “We beat them last year, and I don’t know why everybody thought they got so much better than we were getting. I was glad to get out there and play the game.”

In 2007, the Commodores stunned the then sixth-ranked Gamecocks 17-6 in Columbia, S.C., beginning South Carolina’s five-game losing streak to close the season.

One USC player lamented losing to “the sorriest team in the SEC.”

The Commodores heard the chatter.

“We’re used to being underdogs,” defensive end Steven Stone said. “They thought it was a fluke, and that motivated us.”

Added tailback Jared Hawkins: “We’re not a blowoff team. We’re going to hit you in the mouth.”

INJURY STATUS: Vanderbilt defensive back Darlron Spead left the game in the second after taking a hard fall out of bounds after intercepting a pass.

Although Spead walked off the field on his own power, Johnson did not know the player’s status after the game.

In addition, VU reserve wide receiver Chris Reinert was carted off the field with 9:40 left in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. He lifted his thumbs and exhorted Commodore fans as he left the field.

PICKING IT OFF: By intercepting two passes Thursday, Vanderbilt now has 17 in its past 14 games. Spead and safety Reshard Langford had picks for the Commodores.

In addition, Vanderbilt sacked South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelley four times Thursday. VU tallied seven quarterback sacks in last year’s win at South Carolina.

GOLD NUGGETS: Thursday’s win was Vanderbilt first-ever on the ESPN flagship station after losing in its seven previous appearances. …VU won its third straight Thursday night game after beating Miami (Ohio) last week and Wake Forest in 2005. …Commodore linebacker Patrick Benoist recorded a career-high 15 tackles Thursday and also posted a quarterback sack. …VU kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt topped the 200-point total for his career Thursday by making a field goal and three extra-point attempts. He needs eight points to become the school’s all-time leading scorer.

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By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I am stunned enough for both of us! It is unbeleivable that Steve Spurrier's illustrous career was destroyed by the lowly and bumbling Commodores.

By: Bennyhaha on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Fra-ank, this article is about Bobby Johnson's success and doesn't mention Spurrier or his career.

By: eastsidaz on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Come on Frank, lowly and bumbling Commodores? If that were true, then what would you call the Gamecocks? Give credit where it is due. Which part of Spurrier's career are you calling illustrious anyway, Redskins? South Carolina? oh yea, he did coach UF once upon a time.

By: OneTimer on 12/31/69 at 7:00

the lowly and bumbling Commodores are leading the SEC right now. you are good.

By: vandy36 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Vandy had 7 sacks vs. SC last year not 4.Frank Brown....typical.

By: wiseguy on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Commodores won a big game and won on ESPN. Enjoy or savor or what ever you want to call it, but recognize it is only a moment. I hope some one posts the Tennessean paper from last MTSU game to remind them not to get too high on a good win.One week at a time. SC is in the book, best be looking to Rice.