Vanderbilt released its week two depth chart on Tuesday, and the most surprising thing was the consistency. There is not a lot of controversy in the latest 2-deep, but the Western Kentucky proved that his listing won't prevent Coach Mason or Coach Ludwig from rotating more guys in as needed. While they fell short of the "70-80" players mentioned during fall camp, CDM and CAL found a way to use 62 players last week.
Depth Chart changes from last week:
FB: The Dallas Rivers experiment has ended at FB. The likeliest of cases is that we will still see Ralph Webb and Rivers on the field at the same time as more of a 2-RB set that will give McCrary the opportunity to run read options or provide much needed pass protection.
WR: Kris Kentera, who had a couple of good catches last week, is listed as the starter at WR2 for this week. We should see Rayford for plenty of snaps but Kentera has shown in his small sample size the ability to run great routes and make catches in traffic.
RG: Barrett Gouger is listed as the starter over Delando Crooks, likely due to Crooks' undisclosed injury from last week. Seeing him on the depth chart seems to signal that the injury will not keep him out for long. Gouger had some rough spots against a weak WKU D-line so it may be interesting to see if Crooks can overtake Gouger even if he's at less than 100 percent against UGA.
Mason and Staff did not tinker with the defensive side of the ball but did cut down the depth chart to a two deep for most positions. Regardless, we should see many more actually play come game time. With Georgia's three headed monster at RB, Vandy's front 7 will have to be fresh and rested throughout the game.
CB2 - Tre Herndon has solidified his spot as the starting CB2 for this week and with a good game (other than the miscue on special teams) should be the guy opposite McGaster for the better part of the game.
Star/NS - Missing from last week (and mentioned in the podcast - SHAMELESS PLUG) was the Star or Nickel Safety position. As expected, Emmanuel Smith is listed as the starter, though Arnold Tarpley will see plenty of snaps thanks to his "-or-" designation.
True Freshman who played last week:
Kyle Anderton - TE/FB
Josh Smith - LB
Justin Skule - OT
Jared Pinkney - WR
No named injuries so far this week.
The biggest takeaway so far from this season's depth charts have been the defined roles that Mason and staff have set out for the players. We are seeing far less arbitrary and reactionary changes. I expect some changes are inevitable as we see who will gel on the offensive line and what other playmakers can be found in the WR corps but it is good to see that the staff is committed to play folks through mistakes.