Mason Opening Statement: Tennessee-Vanderbilt

Greg Arias

Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason spoke with the medai on Saturday night following his team's season ending loss to Tennessee in Knoxville.

It's been a long and chanllenging season to say the least for everyone involved with this Commodores team. There were high hopes for this squad entering the season with the return of the senior weapons on offense and a grad transfer quarterback. 

Those never materilized in a meaningful way on the field though, leading to the  ups and downs witnessed this season. From the disappointment of UNLV to the celebration of Missouri, it's been something to behold. 

While fans are still unhappy with athletic director Malcolm Turner's decision to retain Mason, it should be mentioned that despite the issues of the season, this team never quit on their head coach. Even Saturday night, this team played hard and competed. 

Mason himself never gave up nor backed down from the challenge of standing before the microphones and cameras each time even though it was the same ole thing each time. 

In his opening comments following the loss, Mason spoke of being proud of this team despite their 3-9 record for the season. 

Now attention turns to next season for he and his staff, with recruiting being the top priority, and finding a quarterback, be it a high school, or grad transfer who is capable of stepping in immediately and performing that tops that list. 

If Mason and his staff-they have a highly touted 4 star high school quarterback committed- can't find the solution, then next season will likely look much like this season just concluded,