The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Press Conference Notes: Clark Lea previews No. 1 Georgia, Ken Seals practicing with the starters

Clark Lea addressed the media on Tuesday ahead of Vanderbilt’s clash with the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs.
Mattigan Kelly
Vanderbilt’s Ken Seals makes a pass in Vanderbilt’s 62-0 loss to Georgia on Sept. 25, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Mattigan Kelly)

On Tuesday, head coach Clark Lea began his weekly press conference with the media recapping Vanderbilt’s loss against Florida. The Commodores rushed for just 64 yards in their 38-14 loss to the Gators. Senior Ken Seals made his second start of the season, going 19-for-34 on his pass attempts and throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns. 

“Our frustrations are based on where our expectations were,” Lea said. “Right now, we’re just shifting focus to improving our team and identifying the areas where we can push forward and build to a better performance on Saturday.”

Seals has been taking snaps with the starters in practice this week and is likely to get the nod under center for the third consecutive game on Saturday. Vanderbilt’s Week Zero starter AJ Swann suffered an elbow contusion to his throwing arm in the UNLV game and has been recovering. He played for the majority of the Kentucky game, but has not seen the field since then. Swann is expected to be available for the third straight week, but will likely sit behind Seals.

“He’s [Swann] been available both weekends so it’s not an injury that keeps him from playing,” Lea said. We identified the part of that was not feeling 100% and we want to make sure the guy that we’re putting out there is able to do what that position asks of it to do.”

Lea later talked about Vanderbilt’s strongest position group: the wide receivers. Will Sheppard leads the Commodores with 550 receiving yards and ranks second in the SEC with eight receiving touchdowns. He has proven through seven games that he is a force to be reckoned with. Jayden McGowan, London Humphreys, Junior Sherrill and Quincy Skinner Jr. also pose a tough threat to opposing defenses.

“You try to design around the skill sets,” Lea said. “I’d like to see Jayden McGowan get a little more involved in the passing game just because I think he’s shown flashes of explosive play…If we can get first downs and extend drives, we’re going to open up opportunities to be creative and get these guys the ball.”

Lea then previewed the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs have outscored the Commodores 117-0 in their last two meetings combined. The two-time national champion Bulldogs enter the game as 31.5-point favorites over Vanderbilt.

We had a great design for the season and our expectations internally were really high and we’ve fallen short,” Lea said. “The challenge this week against Georgia is real, I mean they’re a good team but we’ve yet to play our best football and I’d like to see us put together a week that allows us to do that on Saturday.”


Jaylen Mahoney – Probable

London Humphreys – Probable

Martel Hight – Questionable

Grayson Morgan – Questionable

De’Rickey Wright – Doubtful

BJ Anderson – Out

Jake Ketschek – Out

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About the Contributors
Andrew Wilf, Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
Mattigan Kelly, Former Deputy Multimedia Director
Mattigan Kelly ('22) was Deputy Multimedia Director for The Vanderbilt Hustler. She has been on the staff since her freshman year. Mattigan majored in chemical engineering in the School for Engineering. In addition to shooting for The Hustler, she was the Development Coordinator for Camp Kesem at Vanderbilt, works in a research lab on campus and plays Club Tennis.
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