As usual, we recap Derek Mason’s weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Missouri, or at least part of it, since the football team’s Twitter account only decided to start streaming it about five minutes in.
- We haven’t met our expectations (in so many words.)
- The “open competition” at quarterback currently includes just Riley Neal and Deuce Wallace. Since it’s not a bye week I’m not having a chance to evaluate everybody in this program; I’m more concerned with the top two.
- We’re very inaccurate throwing the ball right now. Some of it has to do with footwork, some of it has to do with throwing mechanics.
- Did you feel like effort was there? You could see there was some frustration setting in as the game went on, but the team didn’t quit. (Ed. note: If Mason thought the team quit, would you expect him to say this out loud?)
- Missouri has a good defense. They “play fast to the ball.” They’ve had a big injury to one of their best inside linebackers. What they are offensively with Kelly Bryant is pretty good, I think he’s shed the moniker of just being a running quarterback. Derek Dooley’s done a great job of turning him into a pro passer. It looks more like some of the things that Dak Prescott does.
- How do you keep a team together when it goes badly? “Continue to trust in the process.”
- Do you need to get some of the senior leaders on the team to help? “I think you have to be real careful about just giving it to a few.” (Coachspeak answer that I can’t really follow, but I caught that it starts at the top and permeates all the way down. Ends with “we gon’ ride.”)
- “I’m the captain of the ship.”
- What does the level of play look like over the next six games? “I think what it has to be is relentless, tough, and intelligent.”
- When you look at this roster, can this roster achieve what you just said? “Absolutely.”
- “The schemes are good schemes. I think we’ve got good players, and we’ve got good coaches.”
- Will there be any changes on the coaching staff? “I truly believe in the coaches that are here. You don’t get in the fog of war and start shooting at the guy sitting next to you.”
And here is Vanderbilt’s depth chart, released today:
The Vanderbilt depth chart going into Saturday’s game against Missouri pic.twitter.com/plewlmRTUd— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) October 15, 2019
As I’ve said before, Vanderbilt’s depth charts under Derek Mason have always seemed to be a week behind; they tend to reflect who actually played the prior week more than actually being a preview of anything. But aside from slapping the “or” designation on Riley Neal and Deuce Wallace again (as well as at the two non-Kalija Lipscomb WR spots), I can’t see any major changes here. Perhaps he wants to surprise everybody with Allan Walters on Saturday.