By: Zac Ellis
– Fresh off a 1-0 week, Vanderbilt football returns to West End on Saturday for a matchup with Nevada. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT on SEC Network.
On Tuesday, Commodores' head coach Derek Mason
joined offensive lineman Bruno Reagan
and linebackers Josh Smith
and Charles Wright
in meeting the media to preview the Nevada game.
Here's what the Dores had to say:
Mason said Nevada's offense under head coach Jay Norvell is a potent unit, and he praised the abilities of running quarterback Ty Gangi. "Their quarterback is an extremely good player. Good arm, a dual-threat quarterback."
Mason thanked Vanderbilt fans for building a rowdy home environment against MTSU. He invited the rest of Nashville to West End this season, as well. "You need to come out and watch this football team, I think this football team is representative of what's happening in the city. It's a hot city, it's a hot football team."
Nevada scored 72 points in its opener against FCS Portland State last week, more reason for the Dores not to overlook the Wolf Pack, said Mason. "All you have to do is watch the Appalachian State game vs. Penn State [last week] to know and understand."
Mason said Vanderbilt had to shake out its jitters on offense against MTSU, but he said the Dores came alive after intermission. "What you saw in the second half was the football team I expected to see."
Mason spotlighted his young players on defense who stepped up vs. MTSU in place of suspended Zaire Jones
and the ejected LaDarius Wiley
. "I like where this group is headed. With some young guys still developing ... we still have a lot of room for growth. Any time you think you have depth, you want to see that depth grow."
Mason on Ke'Shawn Vaughn
, who ran nine times for 37 yards vs. MTSU: "He had chances. You talk about getting chances, he had chances and he'll have more opportunities. For him, he'll shake some of the rust off. He looked like he was pressing it a little bit. Sometimes you've got to take what's there."
Reagan said Vanderbilt's offense wasn't satisfied with its performance against Middle Tennessee. "It's the first game. There will always be things to clean up afterward. In terms of things missing, it's just simple things."
Smith on facing Nevada's offense: "They're a high-scoring offense. We're a high-powered defense. We'll have to come to the game ready to play like every week."
Vanderbilt put up six sacks in the win over MTSU. How important is Vanderbilt's pass rush? Wright: "It's critical with every team we play. Not just Nevada -- it could be an FCS school. Pass rush is critical."
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.