The Vanderbilt defense did not play like a Derek Mason defense against Georgia Tech. The Dores gave up big play after big play in an eventual 38-7 thrashing by the Yellow Jackets.
On Tuesday, Mason couldn’t fix the outcome of Saturday’s game but did say he could fix how the team approached the next game.
“We go back and fix the effort,” Mason said. ”You can go back and fix the composure, the discipline. You look at the things that we can do better, like tackle, we need to tackle better. We need to execute better. And the guys took full ownership of what was there.”
The team may have a fundamental problem if players aren’t putting in the effort. Vandy doesn’t pull all of the top players in the country because of how high its academic standards are, so it has to go out and get hard-nosed, smart football players.
Not giving effort is unacceptable, because the road ahead doesn’t get any easier.
Vandy will have its hands full defending Western Kentucky QB Mike White this week. The Hilltopper signal caller ranks 17th in the nation in both yards per game (306.7 per) and passer rating (167.19).
One thing White does well is get his wide receivers involved.
“They use their threats very wisely,” Vandy OLB Oren Burks said. “Their receivers have a lot of speed and agility and they have great timing with the quarterback so it’s going to be important for the defensive line to get some disruption.”
It’s difficult facing different styles of offensive schemes week in and week out, especially when facing the triple-option, but Vanderbilt has to get back to playing its style of defense.
“It’s also going to be important to be sound in our execution and get to our drops and being accountable for our men at all times throughout the game,” Burks said. “We can’t let any big shots get over our head and just play top down in the secondary.”
Avoiding the big play will be key for the Vandy defense to hold the WKU offense at bay.
After a solid few days of practice, look for Vanderbilt to come out and give much more effort, especially on the defensive side of the ball.