Derek Mason is now 7-18 as Vandy head coach and 0-3 in season openers following the loss to South Carolina

A to Z Sports Nashville

Vandy head coach Derek Mason needs to admit his mistake of swapping out quarterbacks while Vandy held a 10-0 first half lead vs South Carolina last Thursday. He addresses the media at noon Tuesday, as he will every week.

Vandy, inexplicably, removed starting QB Kyle Shurmur from the field after the sophomore helped the Commodores extend their 10-0 lead with 67-yard touchdown drive. Mason put in Wade Freebeck and the offense “responded” with two straight three-and-out possessions netting 1-yard of offense. Shurmur re-entered but Vandy was shut out from there losing 13-10 on a 55-yard field goal with 35 seconds left.

Instead of acknowledging his coaching mistake ruined the rhythm of his team’s offense, Mason said he stood by the “predetermined” QB plan by he and offensive coordinator, Andy Ludwig.

“I’m not gonna second guess that, because that wasn’t the difference in the ballgame,” Mason said and continued, “You guys are talking about something that’s really non-existent.”

Two things here:

One, it was a huge difference in the ballgame. Shurmur started the game 4-6 for 25 yards passing and your team was up 10-0. Following the QB swap, Shurmur was 4-16 passing with 48 yards in the air.

It ruined all momentum the offense had and Vandy never scored again.

Second, the “You guys are talking about something that’s really non-existent” comment from Mason shows he’s 100-percent tone deaf.

The entire fall camp and preseason talk was about how Shurmur has grown as a leader and a quarterback. Receiver CJ Duncan noted two days before the game how Shurmur had taken control of the team.

Mason (and Ludwig) predetermined to make the same mistake they’ve made since arriving at Vanderbilt: not sticking with a QB. Then Mason gave this excuse:

“Kyle just never really found rhythm,” Mason said. “You’ve got to find rhythm and he just never really found rhythm. We needed to make some plays.”

In three drives, Shurmur had his team up 10-0. That’s about as good as a start Vandy could’ve asked for.

Derek Mason made a mistake. He didn’t allow his QB to create rhythm and then blamed him for not finding it.

Own it, Coach. It’s what your fan base is asking for.