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Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

For discussion regarding the Vanderbilt Commodores' football program.

Moderators: NateSY, KarenYates, Vandyman74, roanoke, VandyWhit, kerrigjl, BrentVU, jfgogold

jpmando
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by jpmando » Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:01 pm

Heres a crazy one that comes to mind. John Matuszak, believe visited Dudley with Tampa in the early 1970s.. He was huge as I recall, with wild hair and wild eyes. Old vets will remember him with the Raiders .
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by AuricGoldfinger » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:49 pm

What's funny is that Peyton Manning really didn't have a standout performance in either of his games in Nashville. He split time with Branndon Stewart as a freshman in 1994 (the 65-0 ass kicking), and the Vols had a lackluster 14-7 win in 1996. But Brent did specifically say that he was not asking about the greatest performance at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Like others have said, Herschel Walker is still the greatest college football player I've ever seen. But I didn't get to see him in Nashville in 1981.

There were several Alabama defensive players who came through Nashville and played in the stadium, including Cornelius Bennett, Derrick Thomas, and E.J. Junior. (Remember, back in the day Alabama and VU played every season.) Heck, throw in John Hannah as well. (He and Anthony Munoz are still the best NFL OL I have ever seen.)

Here's are two random non-conference players: Bruce Smith in 1982 as a Virginia Tech sophomore, and LaDanian Tomlinson as a TCU freshman (9 rushes for 25 yards in 1997).
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by commadore » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:42 pm

AuricGoldfinger wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:49 pm
What's funny is that Peyton Manning really didn't have a standout performance in either of his games in Nashville. He split time with Branndon Stewart as a freshman in 1994 (the 65-0 ass kicking), and the Vols had a lackluster 14-7 win in 1996. But Brent did specifically say that he was not asking about the greatest performance at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Like others have said, Herschel Walker is still the greatest college football player I've ever seen. But I didn't get to see him in Nashville in 1981.

There were several Alabama defensive players who came through Nashville and played in the stadium, including Cornelius Bennett, Derrick Thomas, and E.J. Junior. (Remember, back in the day Alabama and VU played every season.) Heck, throw in John Hannah as well. (He and Anthony Munoz are still the best NFL OL I have ever seen.)

Here's are two random non-conference players: Bruce Smith in 1982 as a Virginia Tech sophomore, and LaDanian Tomlinson as a TCU freshman (9 rushes for 25 yards in 1997).
If you remember, E.J. junior was a Vandy commit his senior year in HS. When he didn't sign on signing day, the coach (Pancoast?) said it was no problem, he would still sign. Then Bear Bryant came to town to visit and the next day he was Bama bound.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by GrumpyOldDore » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:28 pm

I can't think of anyone better than Herschel Walker. Our favorite team is always featured in his highlight reel. Am I remembering correctly that in one game Bruce Smith had two or three interceptions of shovel passes in our backfield? I am beginning to be grateful for my fading recall.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by nyyankeeDore » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:35 am

GrumpyOldDore wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:28 pm
I can't think of anyone better than Herschel Walker. Our favorite team is always featured in his highlight reel. Am I remembering correctly that in one game Bruce Smith had two or three interceptions of shovel passes in our backfield? I am beginning to be grateful for my fading recall.
In the 1983 game in Blacksburg Virginia Tech had two interceptions of shovel passes (which had worked so well in the 1982 game against them in Nashville) that were returned for a total of around 180 yards. I don't know whether either of them was by Bruce Smith.
Bruce Smith returned to Nashville in 1984 to avenge his team's 1982 loss for a second time.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by commadore » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:33 am

nyyankeeDore wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:35 am
GrumpyOldDore wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:28 pm
I can't think of anyone better than Herschel Walker. Our favorite team is always featured in his highlight reel. Am I remembering correctly that in one game Bruce Smith had two or three interceptions of shovel passes in our backfield? I am beginning to be grateful for my fading recall.
In the 1983 game in Blacksburg Virginia Tech had two interceptions of shovel passes (which had worked so well in the 1982 game against them in Nashville) that were returned for a total of around 180 yards. I don't know whether either of them was by Bruce Smith.
Bruce Smith returned to Nashville in 1984 to avenge his team's 1982 loss for a second time.
Are you sure? I remember them as down and outs. Either way, both for touchdowns in a 21-10 loss.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by MikenNashville » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:10 pm

Here’s a couple more good QBs Boomer Esiason in the first game of the then new stadium. Also if I’m not mistaken Jim Kelly played for Miami when they came to Nashville with Schnellenberger the coach.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by AuricGoldfinger » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:53 pm

nyyankeeDore wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:35 am
GrumpyOldDore wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:28 pm
I can't think of anyone better than Herschel Walker. Our favorite team is always featured in his highlight reel. Am I remembering correctly that in one game Bruce Smith had two or three interceptions of shovel passes in our backfield? I am beginning to be grateful for my fading recall.
In the 1983 game in Blacksburg Virginia Tech had two interceptions of shovel passes (which had worked so well in the 1982 game against them in Nashville) that were returned for a total of around 180 yards. I don't know whether either of them was by Bruce Smith.
That was Ashley Lee. Still just incredible: https://hokiesports.com/news/2013/10/8/ ... _9172.aspx
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by Nashmann » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:32 pm

Herschel Walker the best hands down to me although there were many great players that played in Nashville!
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by coachinwaiting » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:45 pm

Derrick Thomas and Johnny Musso weren’t bad.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by commadore » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:25 pm

AuricGoldfinger wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:53 pm
nyyankeeDore wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:35 am
GrumpyOldDore wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:28 pm
I can't think of anyone better than Herschel Walker. Our favorite team is always featured in his highlight reel. Am I remembering correctly that in one game Bruce Smith had two or three interceptions of shovel passes in our backfield? I am beginning to be grateful for my fading recall.
In the 1983 game in Blacksburg Virginia Tech had two interceptions of shovel passes (which had worked so well in the 1982 game against them in Nashville) that were returned for a total of around 180 yards. I don't know whether either of them was by Bruce Smith.
That was Ashley Lee. Still just incredible: https://hokiesports.com/news/2013/10/8/ ... _9172.aspx
I think we were both right. From reading that, it sounds like one was a shuttle and the other was a down and out. I just remember that both times we were about to score. I was in the endzone on the opposite end of the field and the plays seemed to go on forever.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by dorepleganger » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:23 am

jpmando wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:01 pm
Heres a crazy one that comes to mind. John Matuszak, believe visited Dudley with Tampa in the early 1970s.. He was huge as I recall, with wild hair and wild eyes. Old vets will remember him with the Raiders .
I watched The Goonies with my kids last night. He played Sloth! Died at age 38.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by BrentVU » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:38 pm

Great job, you guys, thanks for all the responses. I agree with those who say Herschel Walker was the best college player ever, and he had a great appearance at Vandy in 1981 and a decent pro career. But even though Peyton Manning's two appearances in Nashville were less than great, I still argue that Peyton (based on his records and long pro career) deserves the title.

Not that that makes me happy... I always rooted against him.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by oakparkDore » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:25 pm

Everyone is being too diplomatic because they like Brent (as do I). But I’ll say it.

Peyton Manning had an HOF career but he couldn’t carry Herschel Walker’s jock strap in college. Herschel is in the argument, maybe the leading candidate, for greatest college player ever. Peyton played in Citrus Bowls and famously lost the Heisman. Peyton had a better pro career than college (unlike Herschel) but equally famously less great of a career than Brady. College obviously is more important than pro career for this argument.
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by thefan » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:39 pm

Herschel Walker
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Re: Greatest opposing player ever to play at Vanderbilt Stadium?

Post by thefan » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:39 pm

Herschel Walker; thanks for the bitter memories!
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