Coach Derek Mason knows the efficiency of a dual-quarterback system as well as anyone.
It’s what he’s used to better his offense, and although it still has a ways to go, rotating sophomore Johnny McCrary and freshman Kyle Shurmur has produced better results compared to McCrary handling all of the snaps on his own.
Mason is presuming that Kentucky will work with a dual-quarterback offense this Saturday, and he knows the benefits of having versatility within the pocket. Questions were raised after coach Mark Stoops mentioned that he’s taking a different stance on the quarterback situation at Kentucky — it’s between junior Patrick Towles or redshirt freshman Drew Barker.
“I expect him [Stoops] to play both quarterbacks,” Mason said during the SEC teleconference on Wednesday. “With that, we’re going to be prepared to see both quarterbacks.
“You look at the game plan but say to yourself, ‘Who are their weapons?’ ‘What are their personnel?’ and ‘Let’s identify what they do well and let’s go play.’”
Consistency is key for Vanderbilt’s defense, especially this week. The Commodores are the slight favorite, and if the defense can step up like it has the majority of the season, Vanderbilt has a chance to seize another conference win at home.
“We’re trying to scratch where it itches,” Mason said.
Mason has gone through a period of looking at different things that affect his defense from tackling well and playing with great leverage to ball-searching opportunities. However this week, the defensive focus is looking at what Kentucky’s offense presents and defending those skill sets.