Derek Mason explains what has changed about Vanderbilt's offense: 'This is different and unique'
The Vanderbilt quarterback competition has been trimmed to two players, coach Derek Mason said Tuesday at his weekly press conference, but the coach and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch won’t reveal the starter against Texas A&M until Saturday.
“The guy who trots out there on Saturday will give us our best change for success, and the guy behind him, if needed, to help move the ball, help us put some points on the board,” Mason said.
Fitch, of course, replaced Andy Ludwig, who left for a similar position at Utah.
“Everybody’s got a chance,” Mason said. “If you’re a playmaker and you’ve got a specific skill, this offense is built for you. It’s going to look different definitely than what we looked like in 2019. I think Andy was creative in terms of what Andy was able to put together for us. This is different and unique. We’re going to attack teams with different personnel.”
Mason said Fitch understands the strengths the Commodores have, and there are young players that, “people don’t know about or really haven’t seen play in live football.”
“This is definitely about moving the stress around,” Mason said. “The stress isn’t going to be completely on the offensive line, it’s not going to be on the receiving corps, and we’re going to take some stress off the quarterback, but everybody is going to have to work together to make plays. That’s why we talk about being united. … It’s going to allow us to put the ball out in space at times, it’s going to allow us to go tempo at times, it’s going to allow us to go from spread groups, to big groups, to just being able to give us tactical advantages when we need them. It’s not going to be one thing.”
A host of players will be out, Mason said, including LB Feleti Afemui (opt out), CB BJ Anderson (injured, out this week), DB Brendon Harris (injured, out this week), LB Elijah McAllister (injured, out until midseason). Overall, Vanderbilt has lost Vandy has lost 6 players to opt out, 4 players to transfer since spring, 3 injured players and 1 player quarantined.
Vandy is keeping its best tackle (Tyler Steen) on the right side. And a freshman will start at left tackle (blind side for a right-handed QB).
Danny Clark is a left-handed QB.
Discuss among yourselves.
— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) September 22, 2020