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Derek Mason talks to the press ahead of Vanderbilt’s game against LSU

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He has a lot of respect for Ed Orgeron.

NCAA Football: SEC Football Media Day Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Mason took to Zoom on Tuesday morning for his weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s home opener against LSU. We recap his press conference, as usual:

  • Mason is really encouraged with what he saw from the team last week. The offense controlled the clock and moved the ball, which is a good sign. He thought Ken Seals “operated the offense with veteran-like experience.”
  • Defensively, he thought we were “disruptive,” and solid in special teams (but let’s not talk about Donovan Kaufman trying to take one out of the end zone.)
  • He’s “excited” about the opportunity to host the #6 team in the country, which is weird because LSU dropped to 20th in the poll.
  • Vanderbilt’s defensive line was graded the highest in the country this weekend by Pro Football Focus (no, really.) How do we grade? “It comes down to line of scrimmage.” Mason thought they played as good a game collectively as he’s seen but need to be consistent.
  • Did they look better against the pass or the run? He thinks it’s both. “When you play with strain ... it gives you a chance to be disruptive.”
  • How do you approach planning for a player like Derek Stingley? (I would assume “not throwing at him.”) Mason answers by talking about how much he respects Ed Orgeron, which... as a lawyer I would object to non-responsiveness.
  • Mississippi State had 600 yards passing and 10 yards rushing, what can you read from that to prepare for LSU’s defense? “Well, I know about Coach Leach...” Say no more.
  • Some of Ken Seals’ best throws were on the rollout or on the run, is that a function of the offense? Seals threw while moving a lot in high school, and he looked like what they saw in high school: extremely accurate and being able to throw on the move. He still needs to improve, though. (Ed. note: it’s amazing what having a competent quarterback does for an offense.)
  • Seals’ postgame press conference spoke to how much he wants to win. There are no moral victories for him. He learned a lot from watching film after the Texas A&M game. It helps to have guys like Kyle Shurmur and Quinshon Odom to help him out, along with Todd “Mr. F” Fitch.
  • How is Keyon Henry-Brooks’ situation? “I saw him yesterday and saw how he was doing,” but noncommittal on his status, hoping to get him back in practice tomorrow.
  • Are we expecting Dimitri Moore to play on Saturday? “Dimitri was on the grass today.” Good news.
  • Mason takes a minute to talk about the fans and the senior undergraduate students being allowed to come to the game on Saturday.

Video here:

Also, earlier today Vanderbilt released its weekly depth chart which doesn’t have a ton of changes, but ends the fiction that there are four co-starters at quarterback (as indicated on last week’s depth chart.)