Vanderbilt is a little more than a week away from opening its 2016 season. And it’s getting pretty easy to tell.
Commodores coach Derek Mason had the passion of a coach that was less than 10 days away from opening his season against a conference opponent when he addressed his team at practice on Tuesday.
Mason harped on the things coaches usually push players to focus on at practice, but placed a special emphasis on finishing games in the fourth quarter.
— Vanderbilt Football (@VandyFootball) August 23, 2016
According to Las Vegas, Vanderbilt is considered a 3.5 point favorite for its Sept. 1 opener against South Carolina in Nashville, but Mason knows his teams are 0-2 in Thursday night openers under his watch. The Commodores endured an embarrassing 37-7 loss against Temple in 2014 and a heartbreaking 14-12 loss to Western Kentucky last season.
Both games, like the one that will be played next week, were held on a Thursday night at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Mason hopes to create a greater sense of urgency for his team in 2016, as a conference win against South Carolina could set the table for a breakthrough in his third season with Vanderbilt after winning just seven games in his first 24.