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 announces Ken Seals as the starter, previews Ole Miss

On Tuesday, Clark Lea spoke about the bye week and analyzed the Ole Miss Rebels during his weekly press conference.
Miguel Beristain
Dog pile on the field, captured on Oct. 8, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

Clark Lea spoke to the media on Tuesday for his weekly press conference. Lea and the Vanderbilt coaching staff will have Ken Seals start at quarterback on Saturday against Ole Miss. Seals has thrown for a combined 740 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions in his three starts this season. His strong ball security and presence in the locker room ultimately won him the starting job this weekend.

“I think he [Seals] has been a galvanizing presence. He’s earned the respect of the program in how he’s battled adversity and kept a positive outlook,” Lea said. “On the whole, he’s protected the ball and gotten us organized on the field. I think that’s one thing that’s probably undervalued when you’re watching the game as a spectator.”

Seals starting on Saturday will result in another game where AJ Swann will sit on the sideline. The sophomore was Vanderbilt’s starter for its first five games and has dealt with an elbow injury since the UNLV game.   

“Obviously he wants to be the guy, as does everyone,” Lea said. “He’s got all the tools he needs to be our No. 1. He’s still refining his process and I know he’s a great competitor and I know he’s going to be going at it.”

Lea also spoke about the benefits of a bye week. In addition to giving an extra week of rest for the student-athletes, the bye week allows Lea’s team to work on themselves. Lea wants Vanderbilt to play well within its system.

“The priority of the week was to get back healthy,” Lea said. “Certainly there was an opportunity for us to work on us which becomes the charge to the team independent of who we are playing.”

In the press conference, Lea made sure to give praise to the No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels. Jaxson Dart is the quarterback for the Rebels and has been on a tear all season. The Ole Miss offense is averaging 10.3 yards per pass attempt, which is the third-best in the SEC.

“They’re [Ole Miss] skilled at offense and have played well at the quarterback position,” Lea said. “Much like many of the teams we play in our league, this is a good challenge for us. We’ve been energized coming out of the bye and glad to be back relatively healthy.”

Vanderbilt will play Ole Miss at 6:30 P.M. CDT on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Vaught Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi.


De’Rickey Wright – Questionable

Grayson Morgan – Probable

CJ Taylor – Doubtful

BJ Anderson – Out Indefinitely

Gamarion Carter – Out Indefinitely

Ezra McAllister – Out for Season

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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].
Miguel Beristain, Senior Staff Photographer
Miguel Beristain (’24) is a philosophy and cellular and molecular biology double major in the College of Arts and Science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When not shooting for The Hustler, he can usually be found playing Magic the Gathering, exploring new restaurants or practicing guitar. He can be reached at .
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