Vanderbilt goes with Smith at QB

Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson has tabbed sophomore Larry Smith as his starting quarterback in Saturday's opener against Western Carolina.

Smith and senior Mackenzi Adams had been battling for the job during the preseason.

Adams is the Commodores' most experienced quarterback and has been a part-time starter the last two seasons, but Smith started in the Music City Bowl win over Boston College and gives Vanderbilt a stronger presence in the passing game.

"I think Larry's got a lot of tools to run our offense and be able to throw the ball down the field and do some things," Johnson said. "But we're extremely pleased with Mackenzi Adams and the way he's worked. We feel equally confident that he could go in a game if needed and execute our offense."

The Commodores played three different quarterbacks last season, but that was more out of necessity once Chris Nickson injured his shoulder.

Chris Low covers SEC football for ESPN.com.