Derek Mason explains how to prepare for Purdue's new-look offense
Vanderbilt has one of the tougher two-game stretches to open the season with games against Georgia and now this week at Purdue.
Coming off of a Georgia loss where fell behind 21-0 less than 10 minutes in, and fell 30-6, Vanderbilt now faces the Boilermakers and their new-look offense and one of the better playmakers in the country in Rondale Moore.
Purdue is coming off a 34-31 loss at Nevada as the Wolfpack made a 56-yard field goal as time expired.
On the weekly SEC media teleconference, Mason was asked about his team’s performance against Georgia and what to expect from Purdue:
- On Vandy’s OL vs. UGA: I thought we were well early. What we tried to do is take stress off the offensive line on down in and down out… We didn’t push the ball down the field as much as we would have liked. Riley did a good job of protecting the ball. We have to get our players the ball better.
- On handling Jordan Davis for much of the day: I thought he was a good player, Kirby has recruited big, recruited athletic and that’s what they continue to do. They are well coached. Going into his second year, he is formidable, he can move vertically… I think he is going to have a great career at Georgia.
- On having to prepare for a team with a new offense: It’s always hard, it all depends on the positioning of the players. What are those weapons like? if there is no tape, it’s hard. It’s easy if there’s tape. You look at their strength, what do they do. How do we expose their weaknesses? You look to make them work left-handed, it’s all about finding weaknesses and applying pressure there.
- On being on a staff where the offense changed over? I’ve coached 14 years on offense, that has helped me. A lot of time in college football, you have to deal with what you have. You can make a changeover but do you have the players? I learned that here at Vandy, we were 4-3 and we went from 3-4, it took a few years to do that… Changes can be made fast if the players are there… Going from option to run and shoot is tough if you don’t have wide receivers, that would be my best example.
- On Jeff Brohm and the challenge of facing his offense: Coach Brohm is one of the best minds in college fooball. Comes from the Petrino tree, he creates mismatches, he takes shots… now he has Rondale Moore… he knows how to get these guys the ball, they have a good running game… now you have to bracket that and stop the run but it’s not just their passing game, you have to limit their running game… he will spread you out, force you to make open tackles in space.
- On home stadium being taken over by away fans: That’s Georgia, much like some SEC teams in college towns, they travel. Nashville is a big city… we are small, it didn’t really move me one way or another, when we go to Georgia, there are going to be 80,000 fans… it was Labor Day, those fans are going to travel
- On using Nashville in recruiting: It’s easy to me, this place has sports market value, commerce, business, and Vandy sits in the center of the city. You saw the NFL Draft, with the Predators and Titans… you talk about the SEC, I think this is a prime location for a student-athlete that wants it all… It’s not a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision and these connections last a lifetime.