Vanderbilt still loyal to QB Johnny McCrary after early struggles
Vanderbilt is currently sitting on the bottom rung of Division I FBS football. The Commodores are 0-2 with losses to Western Kentucky and Georgia — both at home. Their starting quarterback, Johnny McCrary, has thrown two touchdowns against five interceptions while leading the offense to 26 total points.
But coach Derek Mason is standing strong beside McCrary, and the QB job appears to be the sophomore’s to keep for the foreseeable future.
Asked during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference whether he’d given any thought to benching McCrary for backup Wade Freebeck, Mason responded, “I have not.”
“Johnny’s my quarterback,” Mason added. “He’s the leader. He’s got to make sure that he protects us. Our guys depend on that. We depend on him. He’s growing every practice and every game.”
Vandy has started slow this season, and has not scored any points in the first or third quarters through two games.
But Mason likes McCrary’s ability to stay level while fighting through failure.
“Johnny’s taken full ownership of what’s happened to us,” Mason said. “The good thing about Johnny is: Johnny doesn’t get too high. He doesn’t get too low. Out of all of our quarterbacks right now, Johnny is the guy who’s the most even-keeled about how he approaches the game.”
On Tuesday, Mason said that the Commodores’ red-zone struggles (they have the worst red-zone scoring rate in FBS) did not solely rest on McCrary’s shoulders.
Teammate Kris Kantera added (via Tennessean.com’s Adam Sparks): “It’s not just Johnny. It’s everybody. He’s one person of the 11 people we have out there. We all have to step up in that situation.”
Vanderbilt will face Austin Peay at home this Saturday (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network Alternate).