Vanderbilt players coaches aim to make most of open date, whatever they make of it

An open date, such as Vanderbilt has Saturday, is what you make of it.

The Commodores hit the break in the schedule at 3-3 with all three losses against conference competition. The most recent out was last Saturday’s 51-28 loss at home to Missouri.

For the coaching staff, this is a chance to step back and look at what they have done so far this season and to get away to try to make future teams better.

"It comes at a great time,” coach James Franklin said. “… We need to take some time to look at some things and where we have people and who we’re playing. And we need to be recruiting like crazy because there are some holes in our roster that are showing up right now.”

Under Franklin, the Commodores are 1-1 in games following an open date. They beat Missouri 19-15 last season, which started a run of eight wins in their last nine contests. In 2011 they had two weeks to prepare for Alabama but lost 34-0.

For wide receiver Jordan Matthews, though, this week is just another opportunity to get back in the win column.

“I don't believe in bye weeks because I believe every day is a game,” he said. “We got 2-3 games in practice, that's where you win the games. … Nobody is going to hang their heads. You talk about confidence. We got confidence. We are not worried about moral or anything. Everybody in the locker room believes in each other. We know we are not going to put our heads down.

“There is no bye week so you can mark the game down as Vanderbilt versus Vanderbilt. We are going to focus on us, we are going to get better. That is what I have to say about it.”