When his first season in the SEC begins this fall, Vanderbilt Commodores head coach Derek Mason expects a “baptism by fire.”
In an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mason, who joined the Commodores after James Franklin left for Penn State, said he he knows he’ll have to adjust to the size and athleticism of his SEC opponents:
“Like anything else, there is a learning curve. Before I was in the Pac-12, I had coached at some smaller West Coast schools, so it was different once I got into the Pac-12. You adapt and adjust. You watch film and learn who your opponents are, and the big adjustments I see in the SEC are talent level and speed. Football is football, but the linemen in this conference are so dominant, and the skill is so pronounced.
“We’re going to have to go baptism by fire, but that’s no different from what James had to do. You have to feel it out and go game by game, and I think I showed at Stanford that I’m a pretty quick learner.”
Mason also said he doesn’t feel under any extra pressure due to Franklin’s success at Vanderbilt:
“I don’t worry about anybody else’s expectations. Our staff has a pretty good idea of what winning looks like, and we’re going to continue on our path of doing what we do and sticking to our plan, because we think we’ve got a good one.”
The Mason Era will begin at Vandy when the Commodores host the Temple Owls on August 28.
[Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press]