Can Commodores Limit Defensive Time on Field this Season?

Greg Arias

In football, each unit must work together for the team to be successful, so when one part spends a majority of the game on the field, the results aren't likely to be favorable. 

Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason understands this and knows that having a young, unproven offense this season could negatively impact his veteran defensive unit. 

"It always comes down to execution," said Mason. "Offensive efficiency is no different than defensive efficiency; everybody's got to do their job. Everybody's got to take accountability and responsibility for doing that job play in and play out." 

One of the new trends in football is offense play"fast" or with "tempo" to move quickly and work to tire the opposition defensive unit. 

While it is a solid strategy when your team uses this and fails to produce the desired results, it can place your defense in an unfavorable position of spending too much time on the field. 

"I don't think the tempo is going to have anything to do with it," Mason said. "It's gonna be about execution, so for us, we're gonna run the offense, and that's what's been exciting to see."

"Obviously, when you settle on a quarterback, and you're able to get to a point where that guy is getting the majority of the reps, man, you'll see a lot of the consistency that you want—continued Mason. "You know right now a couple of guys are still rolling through, we've got a couple of guys back. They continue to show why we recruited them, but at the end of the day, you've got to be able to lead, you've got to be able to manufacture the first downs." 

You've got to be able to put the ball in the end zone so, by hook or crook, that's exactly what we're going to do," concluded Mason. "We're going to continue to move forward and get our guys better, and whatever style of offense is required that day, that's what we're gonna play."                       

Whatever happens with the offense this season, this defense, while a strength, is not good enough to stay on the field continuously, especially against an all-SEC schedule and produce wins.  

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