Opposition Danger Men: UAB and Missouri

James Franklin

Today we are going to continue with the third part of our opposition danger men preview. These players are the ones who can take over on a Saturday if they are not properly game planned for and each has the potential to be a real thorn in the side of the Vanderbilt when game time rolls around. This time we look at the games against UAB and Missouri.

Today we are going to continue with the third part of our opposition danger men preview. These players are the ones who can take over on a Saturday if they are not properly game planned for and each has the potential to be a real thorn in the side of the Vanderbilt when game time rolls around. This time we look at the games against UAB and Missouri.

UAB - Darrin Reaves - RB

Reaves came from nowhere midway through last season to grab the UAB running back spot with both hands. He ended the 2012 season with over 1,000 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns, numbers which earned him first team Conference USA honors. At 5-foot-10, 210 pounds Reaves showed the ability to shoulder the Blazers offensive workload with a career high 35 carries for 223 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Southern Mississippi last fall.

Though he does not have game breaking speed he is more than capable of churning out the seven to twelve yard runs which keep defenses squarely on their heels. In addition he has shown capable hands out of the backfield and had 41 receptions last season. This fall he will be looking to turn more of those receptions into touchdowns after only putting one into the end zone last time out.

Missouri - James Franklin - QB

The bulk of the SEC schedule begins with the visit of Missouri and the other James Franklin. This quarterback has had a strange ride so far in Columbia, but there is no doubt he still has the raw skills and athleticism to have a Johnny Manziel-like season. Franklin's problem has never been one of talent but of injury, he is, however, entering the 2013 season healthier than he has been in over two years. If he can maintain that health through to this game then Vanderbilt will see a very different Mizzou from the team they beat in 2012.

The best measure of Franklin's potential value to the Tigers is his sophomore campaign from 2011. That year he passed for over 2800 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for almost 1000 more and 15 scores. With Franklin healthy Mizzou has a passing attack which is deadly both inside the pocket and when he is on the move (much like Manziel) making it very hard to contain him. The option read game will then open up (especially with a healthy roster of backs at his disposal) and allow Franklin to use his high 4.5 40 speed to devastating effect. If healthy Franklin is the second most dangerous offensive player the 'Dores will face all year.

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