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Team: Vanderbilt Commodores

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Vanderbilt's defense has allowed just 13 points this season through three games, with a matchup against Alabama looming.
Ten sacks in three games have been a major factor. Alabama beat writer Rainer Sabin expects Alabama's offense to focus on the running game, as usual, since the team's pass protecting will be tested. Jalen Hurts is showing a bit more as a passer, but not to the point of overwhelming defenses, especially against pressure. Sat, Sep 23, 2017 10:16:00 AM

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Vanderbilt and UNLV agreed to a home-and-home deal.

The Commodores will host UNLV on October 12, 2019. It will be the first meeting between the two schools. The Runnin' Rebels will host the second on September 16, 2023. That game may be played at the NFL’s Oakland Raiders new digs. That Las Vegas stadium is expected to be built in the next few years.
Wed, Jul 19, 2017 06:57:00 PM

Vanderbilt reached agreement on a three-year contract extension for HC Derek Mason.

While Vandy AD David Williams declined to offer specifics in terms of money, here, Mason will be receiving a raise as part of the extension. The team's assistants and recruiting budget are additionally seeing monetary bumps as well. Said Williams, "This year will be the first year that we actually have the type of depth that we would like to have, and I think Derek is a master at developing players." The Commodores finished the 2016 regular season holding a 6-6 record. They were subsequently defeated in the Independence Bowl by NC State. Mason has improved his record in each of his three seasons at Vanderbilt.
Tue, May 16, 2017 04:32:00 PM

Vanderbilt is working on a contract extension for HC Derek Mason.

While Vanderbilt is an outwardly poor 13-24 in Mason's three seasons at the helm, the Commodores went 6-6 during the regular season of the past campaign. They made the Independence Bowl for their efforts. NC State beat them in that contest, but despite the tough ending, 2016 marked a noticeable step forward for Vanderbilt on the whole. Mason's defense allowed just 24 points on average last season.
Thu, Jan 26, 2017 07:16:00 PM

Vanderbilt HC Derek Mason won't pursue the opening at Cal.

"Regarding Cal rumors...," Mason tweeted. "I'm firmly Anchored Down in Nashville. Let's Ride!" Mason led the Commodores to a 6-7 finish and a bowl berth this past season.
Wed, Jan 11, 2017 06:14:00 PM

Vanderbilt HC Derek Mason indicated that he was displeased with USA Today's preseason ranking of 113th.

"With that USA Today article, we’re mad. We’ve got a chip on shoulder — offensively, defensively, special teams," Mason said. "That’s a slap in the face and a kick in the mouth." CB Torren McGaster echoed these sentiments, but hopes to shock the world. "Of course, we hear all that," he said. "But our offense is going to prove the nation wrong. Our defense is going to prove the nation wrong." In his first two seasons as Vandy's head coach, Mason's squads have gone a combined 7-17. Record aside, though, a rival SEC coach who spoke with Athlon Sports this offseason called Mason "as good of a defensive coach as there is in the world."
Sun, Aug 21, 2016 01:28:00 PM

When asked about Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason, a rival SEC coach told Athlon Sports the following: "I’m not exaggerating when I say this: Derek Mason is as good of a defensive coach as there is in the world."

Other anonymous coaches polled were just as effusive when praising the Commodores' defense. "The fronts they give you are just wacky," a different coach said. "They’ll play every front that exists. The way they get to their nickel package is unusual because they take out their nose guard instead of sliding their front. They play with really good width on the line of scrimmage, and they do a good job hemming your runs in. They play with four linebackers pretty much all the time, so guys drop into different spots and the pressures come from weird angles." A third coach said, "I just flat out don’t love playing them, especially if it’s early in the year when you don’t have them on tape to see what wrinkles they’ve added. And they just tackle really well." A fourth said that "in terms of defensive fundamentals, [Mason] does it the way you wish everybody would. I have a lot of respect for him and he’s got it headed in the right direction."
Fri, Aug 5, 2016 07:09:00 PM

Despite only having coached for one season, NFL Media believes Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason will be coaching for his career in 2015.

The site ranks him as having the No. 10 hottest seat in the entire sport. "Yes, he has been at Vandy for only one season. But the Commodores looked woefully unprepared in every SEC game last season, losing all eight of their league games by an average of 22.5 points per contest," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin. "Any momentum the program had gained from the James Franklin years came to a dead stop. If the Commodores look that bad again, can school officials afford to keep Mason?" The Commodores went 3-9 last year and finished 108th in passing yards, 116th in rushing yards and 120th in points per game. It was a hard brand of football to sit through once.
Tue, Jun 2, 2015 08:32:00 PM

Vanderbilt has released offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell and WR coach Marc Lubick.

The Commodores ended the season 3-9 and were 108th in passing yards, 116th in rushing yards and 120th in points for per game. That obviously will not cut it in the SEC.
Wed, Dec 3, 2014 01:15:00 PM

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason wants to schedule Stanford.

"We’re in the process right now of scheduling that game," Mason told WJOX. "We understand that the two schools have similar brands, but you know what? They don’t fear anybody and we don’t either." The Commodores hired Mason away from the Cardinal in January, where he was serving as co-defensive coordinator. "We’ll get a chance to get after Stanford and they’ll get a chance to get after us at some point in time, hopefully in the near future," Mason said. "We are still the best conference in the whole United States. If they want to come and get us, come and get us." Vanderbilt and Stanford have never played.
Thu, May 22, 2014 10:24:00 PM

A Vanderbilt official confirmed that the school will name Stanford co-defensive coordinator Derek Mason as head coach.

John Ingram, a Vandy booster and search committee member, told The Tennessean that the Commodores have found their man: "Yes sir! ... I am very excited," he said. Vanderbilt is expected to announce the news any minute now, and they'll likely hold a press conference on Saturday. James Franklin, now Penn State's coach, has been picking off 2014 Vanderbilt recruits, so Mason's first order of business will be to fend off Vandy's old boss for the remaining commits.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 07:18:00 PM

Stanford co-defensive coordinator Derek Mason will be named Vanderbilt's next head coach, according to 247 Sports.

Shannon Terry adds no timetable on the announcement has been set. Mason has been at Stanford since 2010 after previously coaching defensive backs with the Vikings from 2007-2009. CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler reports Mason has a second interview with Vanderbilt officials on Friday.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 01:24:00 PM