For years, the Tennessee Vols were invincible in November.
Now, Vanderbilt is staking its claim to the month.
“If you were to study Vanderbilt’s history, that hasn’t always been the (case),” Commodores coach James Franklin said after Saturday’s 34-17 win at Florida. “We just get better as the season goes on. The kids work hard at developing in practice. They’ve bought in to what we’re doing.
“Individually and collectively as the season goes on, we get better, and we’ve done that for going into our third year now.” Franklin’s squad won its sixth November game in a row thanks to a four-takeaway day in Gainesville, and the streak has a good chance to reach seven with Kentucky (2-7, 0-6 SEC) visiting this weekend.
It’s not just that the Commodores (5-4, 2-4 SEC) are finally winning late in the season, reversing a trend that plagued the team for years while enduring long skids in the month against Florida and Tennessee. It’s the fact that Vanderbilt is leaving no doubt in its recent November games, outscoring its last six foes by a 238-89 margin. Those numbers seem to corroborate Franklin’s argument that his players improve as the season goes along.
“We stick to our script,” sophomore running back Jerron Seymour said. “As the season goes on, I guess we come together as a team more and we learn each other more, so we’re able to play together. We have that chemistry.”