James Franklin has had some innovative ideas in his two years as head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores, most notably that the perennial cellar-dwellers should actually compete in SEC ballgames. His idea about punt returns stated before his team's matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs is just about as revolutionary.
After a few punts dribbled past returners in the team's 58-0 beatdown of Presbyterian, a reporter asked the 40-year-old coach about his thoughts on returning kicks, and received a surprising answer:
We don't want any punts fair caught. I don't want a punt fair caught ever when we're here. If they can get six inches, I want them to get six inches. There's a halo rule now again. We should never, we should never, in the twenty-five years that we'll be here, we should never fair catch a punt. We're just looking for somebody that can get us positive yards.
That's great news for Georgia's gunners, who are probably excited about the prospect of hitting unsuspecting Vandy return men. Most notable is Franklin's apparent desire to stay with the Commodores for 25 seasons, which will probably please Vandy fans who have become enamored with the coach who won six games for the upstart Commodores last season. This year, his team is 0-2 against BCS play, but one of those was a close 17-13 loss to a top-ten South Carolina Gamecocks squad, so Georgia isn't guaranteed an easy win.