Derek Mason comments on Sarah Fuller's debut, Vanderbilt's tough road loss at Missouri
Vanderbilt road into the Missouri game with some momentum after playing some quality football in recent weeks but that all disappeared in a hurry as the Commodores were just blown out by Missouri 41-0 in Columbia.
Saturday was undoubtedly the worst showing of the season for Vanderbilt, which is really saying something considering the team is now 0-8 in 2020, but there’s no hiding from how bad the Commodores looked on both sides of the ball.
Missouri racked up 603 yards of total offense while Vanderbilt didn’t even reach 200 yards. Mizzou had 31 first downs to Vandy’s 13.
The game may have been awful for Vanderbilt but the thing people will remember the most when looking back at this game was the debut of Sarah Fuller, who became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game.
Fuller, a member of Vanderbilt’s women’s soccer team, had one kick off in the game. The team just won the SEC league soccer tournament.
Following the loss, here are the highlights of what Derek Mason had to say in his postgame press conference:
Mason on Sarah Fuller:
“I thought it was a special moment for Sarah Fuller. She is fantastic, a champ is a champ, we were lucky to have her here today. Unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to kick a field goal, we didn’t get that opportunity but for her, to be in college football and to have a kick-off — fantastic for her.”
Mason on Vanderbilt’s performance:
“I think our young players will learn a lot from being here. There’s always information to be taken from games. I take full responsibility, we prepared the right way, in terms of energy and momentum and just being sustainable, we just didn’t have it. We didn’t have it today. Unfortunately, when you don’t have it and you go on the road, it can make it tough, hard and long.”
Mason on Fuller’s kickoff, was that designed for her?
“That was designed for her because that’s what she’s used to striking. We tried to go with the most natural kicks in her arsenal. Tried not to overcoach her but let her do and understand what felt comfortable to her and that’s what we went with. I thought she punched it just like she needed to, balls down at the 35-yard line, let’s go.”
Mason on if Fuller was used as a social statement:
“Listen, I’m not about making statements. This was out of necessity. You look at our week, our students had gone home. The ability to have access to students and tryouts was almost nil, in terms of who was available, with everyone going home for the holiday break.”
“She’s been a trooper. She came right in, she was all about the challenge, I have the utmost respect for her… She could have easily said no, but instead, she prepared all week and did what she was supposed to do. She was as prepared as anyone for this game.”
Mason on if Fuller will play against Georgia next week:
“That’s really her choosing, but at the end of the day, if she wants to kick and she’s available, we’d love to have her.”