Vanderbilt's defense will get some reinforcements for Saturday's game at Georgia.
Junior middle linebacker Chris Marve, who's recorded 100 tackles each of his first two seasons, practiced full speed Thursday after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery nine days ago and will play against the Bulldogs.
In addition, senior defensive tackle Adam Smotherman got some live work and is expected to see his first action of the season for the Commodores. He tore his ACL in the spring and missed the first five games. Smotherman probably won't start, but hopes to get in 15 plays.
The Commodores had also hoped to get junior defensive tackle T.J. Greenstone (ankle) back for this game, but he didn't go through any contact Thursday and isn't expected to play.
Still, getting Marve and Smotherman back is huge for Vanderbilt. Marve is the heartbeat of this defense with his leadership and productivity. It also tells you a little something about his toughness and his drive that he could return this quickly and play in a game after being scoped. Marve missed last week's game against Eastern Michigan.
And while Vanderbilt will be careful about how many snaps Smotherman plays, he'll add some muscle and some experience to a defensive line that needs it. Smotherman started at tackle each of the last two seasons for the Commodores, and there's no doubt that they've missed him. They head into this game ranked 11th in the SEC in rushing defense, giving up 183.8 yards per game, and are 10th in the league with eight sacks.