Dores Prep for Florida

Injuries have hindered Vandy quarterbacks

by Chad Bishop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason will have a tough decision to make this week when it comes to the team’s quarterback position.

Two of the five quarterbacks on Vandy’s roster have recently suffered injuries and are not likely to play at 11 a.m. CT Saturday when the Commodores face No. 10 Florida.

“I’ll be playing Deuce Wallace and Allan Walters (at quarterback),” Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason said Tuesday. “Those will be our quarterbacks and we’ll have a third quarterback ready to go.”

Wallace, a redshirt junior, played at South Carolina over the weekend after starter Riley Neal exited the game after the game’s first offensive series. Wallace finished 8-of-17 for 30 yards and was intercepted twice.

Neal started at South Carolina because Mo Hasan wasn’t able to play because of his injury during the Missouri game Oct. 19. Hasan went 7-for-11 passing for 120 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 34 yards that day.

Now it may be up to Wallace, Walters (a redshirt freshman) or even sophomore Jack Bowen get Vandy’s offense moving back in the right direction. The latter two have never played in a game for Vanderbilt.

Redshirt freshman Gavin Schoenwald and freshman running back J.R. Tran-Reno are a couple Commodores who played the quarterback position in high school.

“The offense changes just a little bit because I think both (Wallace and Walters) have a little bit mobility in terms of what it looks like. We’re going to have to tweak it just a little bit,” Mason said. “But the mainframe of what we do is still there.

“With these guys, too, as I’ve seen both of these guys move around see what they can do it gives us the opportunity to take advantage of some other options in our offense. We have to make sure it fits them, it fits our guys, it gets the ball to our playmakers and obviously we got to be able to run the ball, but throw the ball effectively in order to stay on the field and give ourselves a chance to score points.”


Florida is licking its wounds a bit after a 24-17 loss to rival Georgia on Saturday. The Gators have now lost two of the last three – both to teams ranked in the top six (Georgia is currently ranked No. 6 by the Associated Press and No. 1 LSU beat Florida 42-28 on Oct. 12).

Before that, the Gators (7-2, 4-2 SEC) had begun the year with six consecutive wins thanks in large part to its defense. Florida leads the Southeastern Conference in sacks, tackles for loss and takeaways.

Vanderbilt (2-6, 1-4 SEC) has won just 10 times in 52 tries against Florida. The last victory for the Commodores came in 2013 in Gainesville, a 34-17 triumph. Before that the Gators had reeled off 22 straight wins in the series.

The Commodores need to win Saturday to keep their faint bowl hopes alive.

“It’s always fun to go to another team’s stadium to see the atmosphere and play somewhere you haven’t played before,” redshirt freshman wide receiver Cam Johnson said of the matchup. “That’ll be fun, but we’re also going there to win and that we got to get ready for that.”

• Mason said that redshirt junior safety Frank Coppet will miss the remainder of the season with an injury. Coppet played in two games this season and made two tackles.

• In 20 career games with Vanderbilt, running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn now has 2,034 rushing yards – the ninth-most in Vandy history. He now needs 599 yards (149.5 yards/game over the next four games) to finish third all-time behind Zac Stacy (3,143) and Ralph Webb (4,173).

• Vaughn needs two rushing touchdowns to move past Jerry Seymour (19) for third on the program’s career rushing touchdowns all-time list. Zac Stacy (30) is second and Ralph Webb (32) is first.

• Vaughn is averaging 6.6 yards per carry for his career, the most by a Vandy running back in program history with at least his total of 308 attempts (Zac Stacy averaged 5.4 after 581 career attempts).

• Vaughn ranks 28th nationally with 128 all-purpose yards per game. The senior is also 29th nationally with 98.8 rushing yards per game and 30th with 790 total rushing yards.

• Vanderbilt senior kicker Ryley Guay is nine points from moving into Vandy’s top 10 for career points scored.

• Guay is 19th nationally this season with a field goal percentage of 87.5 percent.

• Lipscomb needs one touchdown reception to pass Dan Stricker (21) for the second-most touchdown catches in a Vanderbilt career. Jordan Matthews (24) is first.

• Lipscomb’s next reception will move him past Stricker (182) for fifth on the program’s all-time receptions list. Boo Mitchell is fourth with 188.

• Lipscomb is four receiving yards from passing Chuck Scott (2,219) for sixth on Vanderbilt’s career receiving yards list.

• As a team, the Commodores rank fourth nationally having lost just two fumbles and rank 21st nationally having lost just nine total turnovers.

• Vanderbilt senior Justice Shelton-Mosley ranks 14th in college football with an average punt return of 10.8 yards and 28th with 380 combined kick returns yards,

• Vanderbilt sophomore punter Harrison Smith is 21st nationally with an average punt of 44.4 yards.