Changes in offensive strategies to improve Vanderbilt's record



Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Alvin Dupree (2) sacks Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Wade Freebeck (12) in the second quarter as the University of Kentucky plays Vanderbilt University at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, September 27, 2014. The Wildcats won 17-7. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)

Marquis Munson

In Derek Mason’s first season as head coach with the Commodores, he finished with a record of 3-9 and went winless in conference play at 0-8. Mason is looking past 2014, though, and onto 2015 with 22 starters returning on both sides of the ball. He hopes to make this team bowl eligible once again in his second go-around.

“Every year stands on its own merit,” Mason said. “I believe one year doesn’t make a football team. We were a young football team a year ago. I believe that this football team had a chance to mature.”

One bright spot on the Vanderbilt team came from the backfield with Ralph Webb, the 5-foot-10-inch redshirt sophomore from Gainesville, Florida. Last season, Webb ran for 907 yards on 212 attempts and was ranked second in the SEC among freshman running backs, right behind Georgia’s Nick Chubb.

“I think we are going to do some great things offensively this year,” Webb said. “Coach [Andy] Ludwig is doing a great job of putting players in positions to make plays. We have the personnel to match the schemes. I think, this year will be a much more explosive offense, scoring more points than we did last year.”

Their first game of the season will be against Western Kentucky on Sept. 3, and the team will start SEC play Sept.12 at home against Georgia.

“We’re going to be a better football team,” Mason said. “I can’t predict the wins, but I do know in terms of being competitive, doing the right things, and creating men that will thrive here in the SEC. I’m going to be about the work and let the season tell a story.”