3 interesting notes from Vanderbilt's Derek Mason

Three interesting notes from Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason’s press conference on Tuesday. Georgia Tech (2-0, 1-0 ACC) will host Vanderbilt (1-1, 0-1 SEC) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Mason touched on a variety of topics, including that he doesn’t think running back Ralph Webb is getting too many touches.

Here are three more:

Q: How does the 3-4 match up with the option?

A: We are 3-4, we are 4-3, we are 3-3-5. As I’ve looked at this football and how we’ve tried to build it out for this season, we are going to have to attack from some different platforms. You’ll see some 3-3-5, you’ll see some 3-4, you’ll see some 4-3. That’s predicated on trying to give different looks. You can’t stay in the same looks against this offense because they, much like the offense we played last week, they have answers for what you do if you stay in one thing. They are really good at what they do. We have to keep sticking and moving and make sure we stop the run.

The Commodores are allowing an average of 108.5 rushing yards per game and 293 passing yards per game.

Q: Have your players been a good tackling team in the first two games?

A: I’d give us a B-minus. I thought last week we were much improved. I thought we tackled well in space. that’s what you have to do, especially against teams who like to get speed in space. This week it’s really the same issue because of the cut blocks, because of what they do getting the ball on the perimeter, it’s still speed and space. You still have to be able to get guys on the ground and tackle in the open field. I thought last week we took a huge step toward doing that. We gave up yards but eliminated explosive plays. That’s what you have to do when playing a spread offense or option offense.

Q: How many more hours does the coaching staff spend for an opponent like this compared to a traditional week?

A: A lot more with an opponent like this. It’s different. You still have to go back. Even though you did it in the summer, you have to go back and flip gears and say ‘OK, let’s go through all the things we talked about. How does that structure stand up?

‘You’ve looked at their first two games, what do they look like now compared to what they looked like a year ago?’

The stuff you looked at year ago is similar but not necessarily pertinent to what their personnel looks like today. The backup quarterback has played some. Will you see this guy? If you see this guy, what differences does he bring to the table?

For us, there’s been a lot more game-planning over the last two days. That’s good. As the week goes on the week starts to shimmy down and it gets real simple.

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About the Author

Doug Roberson
Doug Roberson
Doug Roberson covers the Atlanta United and Major League Soccer.