Derek Mason shares insight into expected improvements from Vandy's offense following bye weeks
During its two weeks off, Vanderbilt took the opportunity to try to make some offensive improvements. The Commodores have scored only 26 total points during their 0-3 start, so they’ll be looking to get things going this Saturday against Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt’s game against Missouri on Oct. 17 was postponed, then it had its bye. And at his Tuesday press conference, head coach Derek Mason praised what he saw from the Commodores’ practices during the break as they’ve prepared to return to action.
“Having some time to look at where we needed to beef up our true ability to protect the quarterback, score points in the red zone and stay on the field — those were all critical areas that we had to address,” Mason told the media. “What I’ve seen, in the last couple of practices, speaks to that. … Everybody wants touchdowns. What we want is first downs. When you get first downs, first downs can ultimately lead you to the end zone. That’s what we look to do. Watching our guys practice, the rhythm looks there.”
Although Mason has been pleased with what he’s seen at practice, it hasn’t translated to games. The Commodores have been held under 300 total yards in each of their first three games, and they’re averaging 257 total yards per contest.
Why hasn’t the midweek work led to better results on gameday for Vandy?
“I think execution, whether it’s simplification and execution of protections,” Mason told the media. “Whether it’s the idea of guys needing to make plays and winning their one-on-ones. It’s about players. Everyone’s got schemes, but players have to make plays. I think we’ve got playmakers. You’ve seen it in spots, but we haven’t been consistent enough about plays being made, whether it’s down the field, whether it’s on the perimeter. That’s slowed us down.”
Vanderbilt will look for its first win of the season against Ole Miss at Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on SEC Network.