South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt: Vandy Coach Derek Mason Meets the Media


The Vanderbilt Commodores are struggling. Head coach Derek Mason’s team limps into week four with a 1-2 record with losses to Temple and Ole Miss. Vandy finally scored their first offensive touchdown last week in a 34-31 win against UMass. Will they rebound against the Gamecocks tomorrow in Nashville? Mason held his weekly press conference yesterday, giving his thoughts on the match-up with the Gamecocks.

On South Carolina:

"(South Carolina) is a pretty good team to say the least, Steve Spurrier is one of the most seasoned coordinators, head coach in the country. (They) are 2-1 right now, they understand where their at, playing with a sense of urgency. (They) had a great win vs The University of Georgia. We have a formidable foe in South Carolina, we gotta come with our A game."

Mason may be a rookie head coach but his coach speak is top notch, clearly not wanting to give Spurrier’s Gamecocks any extra motivation by talking them down.

On coaching vs Steve Spurrier:

"You know what, its a great opportunity. Any time you get a change to go against great coaches its a challenge, a challenge for our team. Coach Spurriers’ been doing this a long time. For me, its an honor and a challenge to be able to get out there and see how we square up with a top 25 football team."

Apparently, Mason wears Steve Spurrier underwear and is his biggest fan.

On early season adjustments:

"You know what, the ebb and flow of the season gonna make you do things your not always prepared to do. Through out the year you try to find out who you are and what gives you a chance for success. Now we gotta move towards the clean up, the penalties, the execution. Those are the things that have to be adjusted in order for us to play (well) vs a good South Carolina football team."

More from South Carolina Football

Mason knows he is off to a rough start in Nashville, but the fact that this is his first head coaching gig means that some slack could be cut. He’s learning on the job in the toughest conference in college football, no easy task. His team has played sloppy and uninspired football the first three weeks and could easily be 0-3. If Vandy fixes the poor fundamentals they could be a 5-7 win team, but until this point, there isn’t much hope.

As for who will get the call at quarterback for Carolina, Mason announced that it would be Patton Robinette.

"Patton Robinette is gonna start, hes gonna be our quarterback until a situation comes up that makes us do something otherwise."

Vanderbilt is absent of any real QB talent at this point. Steven Rivers has been a disappointment, with just 246 yards and no touchdowns and two interceptions in failing to take control of the starting role. Robinette will start, but also has under-performed this season. He has thrown for 185 yards and a single TD in 2014, leaving many Vandy fans questioning what happened to the talent from last year’s nine win team.