The Vanderbilt football job is not an easy one. Derek Mason has flirted with a hot seat a decent amount during his time with the Commodores, but he believes he is still the man for the job.
The 'Dores scored a big upset over Missouri tonight. It was just the team's second win of the year, and came after a pretty shocking 34-10 loss to UNLV just last week.
The Vanderbilt defense put the clamps down on a high-flying Mizzou attack, holding it to just 14 points and 293 total yards. Clemson quarterback transfer Kelly Bryant was held to 140 yards passing, with a touchdown and an interception. He managed to lead the team with 72 rushing yards, but they were held to just 3.8 yards per carry as a team.
It was a much needed win for Vandy, whose only previous win was over Northern Illinois by six points. It doesn't guarantee Mason another year, but it is a nice one for him to have under his belt.
After the game, he was very fired up while giving an interview on the field, in which he defended his job pretty clearly, amid the constant whispers that Vanderbilt could move on.
Mason's full answer:
"A lot of people want this job, so they think, but I'm the man that's built for this job. Every day, man, we grind. We grind! Don't question us, don't question who we are, what we do, or how we play. We're Vanderbilt men. Commodores Anchorin' Down!"
The write-up doesn't come close to doing it justice though, so I highly recommend you watch the video. The Mason situation is a very tough one to parse, and it is easy to lose context, especially when he is directly compared to his predecessor James Franklin. The now-Penn State head coach did an incredible job in Nashville, no doubt, but was there during an era in which the SEC East's two major powers, Florida and Georgia, were down for much of his run. Throw in Tennessee's constant struggles over the last 12 years or so, and the job was much more manageable when he was there. Derek Mason is just 26-43 since taking over in 2014, but Franklin's departure led to a mass exodus from the program, so it was a deep rebuild when he got there. Throw in the vast improvement made by Georgia, and Florida being at least solid more often than not, and Mason has had a much more difficult division to contend with. If he only wins three or four games again, and fails to go to a bowl for the fourth time in six seasons, Vanderbilt could definitely justify moving on, but everyone should keep in mind what a tough job that is in the SEC. [
I'm ready to go run through a brick wall pic.twitter.com/gpRQJc8cAe
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 19, 2019