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Franklin says Vanderbilt can't afford slow starts

By news admin

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Vanderbilt Commodores know they need to do a better job offensively from the opening kickoff. Knowing is one thing, fixing the problem is proving more of a challenge than expected.

The Commodores have been outscored 31-3 in the first quarter of their first three games, and South Carolina jumped out to a 28-0 lead beating Vanderbilt 35-25 last weekend.

Coach James Franklin said Monday the Commodores must start better and make some plays. He has moved a drill up in practice so the first-team offense can push itself against the first-team defense.

The slow starts have cost the Commodores (1-2) in both their losses against Southeastern Conference teams. Now they have a two-game swing through their nonconference schedule starting Saturday against Massachusetts (0-3) in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.