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THE JOURNEY TO JOHNNY MAC

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A retrospective.

Who could say it better than the man himself?

When this season started, I, like many Vanderbilt fans, was surprised to see Johnny McCrary listed as #3 on the depth chart.  Like many of you, I wanted to see the man in action, but trusted in the judgement of our new coaches.  That, coupled with the proven successes of Patton Robinette, assuaged a large part of my concerns.  Then the Temple game happened.  In retrospect, that game was all sorts of wrong, even making some of us (myself included) think that somehow Stephen Rivers was the answer.  After all, the offense moved best all game under his command!

Boy was that wrong... *chest passes ball to during a sack for no good reason*

ANYWAY, to say our offense has been bad this year is an understatement.  It has lacked a certain sort of flair and most certainly a lack of energy.  With Patton down to injuries, and Rivers CLEARLY not the answer, it seemed almost assured that Johnny would get the call.  Instead, we got Wade Freedbeck getting his RS burned.  We'll leave that discussion for another thread, and Wade certainly looks like he's got the talent to be a good (possibly great) QB in the future.

Again, it was clear that he was not the answer for the team right now.

So again, it seemed like McCrary would get the call... but instead we again we see Stephen Rivers and his chest passing.  At this point - we asked ourselves - what the hell is going on?  Of course, at this point many of us had also lost all faith that our coaching staff knew what it was doing so all sorts of conspiracy theories suddenly sounded reasonable.

Did Mason and McCrary just not get along?  Did McCrary just really stink it up in practice?  Did McCrary tell the coaching staff he planned to transfer, so no reason to give him reps?  Was the coaching staff just THAT bad that they couldn't see talent that's almost literally hitting them in the face?  All these were proposed as reasonable solutions to the simple question - Why is Johnny not getting another shot?

Well, y'all, we got our answer last week.  We barely (and boy, do I mean barely) beat Charleston Southern, but it was all on the heels of Johnny Mac revitalizing that offense in a tough situation.  Then came his first start against a real defense - Missouri, and let's be honest, that was a well fought game, and realistically, we could have won with a few less mistakes.

Then we had the game against ODU yesterday.  Yes, it is ODU, and yes, they're bad.  That said, we've been abysmal and almost lost to Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern is considerably worse than ODU.  On top of all that, Johnny Mac gave the best performance of a VU QB in what, 10 years?  No matter what you want to say about ODU, that does mean something.

I will also give credit where credit is  due - the offense, particularly the TEs, are playing better.  This change is by no means just due to Johnny, but he deserves the lion's share of the credit for revitalizing this team and giving us some hope for the future.

Johnny Mac is the future of this football team.  We have a QB, and it's the QB a lot of the VU fans wanted all along.  Rejoice.