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The Hangover: Week 3 (Vanderbilt 34, UMass 31)

Is Vanderbilt's youth holding the Commodores back? Or is the team's 1-2 start more closely tied to some questionable coaching decisions?

Grown. Man.
Grown. Man.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The hangover, week 3. Brought to you by Atlas Cider of Bend, Oregon. In apricot, blackberry, and cherry pomegranate flavors. Organic and gluten free!

It's finally sinking in that one of the key issues with this team is youth. Straight up youth. Thirty freshmen have played at one point or another. The defense has a ton of new starters. We may just have to ride this one out.

In another persona - and in more vulgar terms - I asserted that while there is nothing to impugn Coach Mason's moral character or previous credentials, his coaching to date calls to mind nothing so much as a crab attempting carnal knowledge of a beach ball. I stand by that assessment for two key reasons:

1) Burning Freebeck's redshirt for a quarter before trying Robinette again is unconscionable. In the post game presser, Mason said that there was no injury problem with Robinette, which makes his benching all the more impossible to comprehend. At this point, he is hands down the most effective QB on the roster and it's not close.

2) Going for two. Never, ever, ever, EVER go for two in the first half EVER. You wind up chasing that point the rest of the game. If we don't go for it the first time, we don't go for it the second time, and at that point we are the ones looking at a tying field goal. Or it's just 35-31 and they're throwing deep instead of lining up a chip shot.

In both cases, these are coaching decisions that had a direct impact on the performance on the field. Does Patton throw that pick? Maybe, maybe not. But based on his play through three quarters, I don't know that we spot UMass a two touchdown lead. The defense held in the fourth quarter, only giving up a field goal which was helpfully taken away by Loki. And as I said, kick three XPs and it's not an issue.

This is the takeaway from this game. We still have a long way to go. But things can go in the right direction if Coach will roll with it. I wonder what kind of hook Patton has at this point...but he should start Saturday and thereafter unless given a good reason. And if we get in a mop-up space, try McCrary again and see what he can do. Rayford and Duncan are your starters at WR. Scheu is the man at TE.

And remember Jimmy V's quote. No, not that one. The one about how the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores. And get ready for a big 2015.