By Zac Ellis
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt closes out its home schedule with a meeting with SEC East foe Missouri on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT at Vanderbilt Stadium.
On Tuesday, head coach Derek Mason joined running back Ralph Webb and safety LaDarius Wiley to preview the Tigers.
Here’s what the Dores had to say:
• Mason had positive words to say about Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, who leads FBS with 35 touchdown passes. “He’s just been on fire… I think he is a dual-threat quarterback even though most people wouldn’t say that.”
• Asked if Vanderbilt has played a quarterback similar to Lock this season, Mason described Lock as “a much better version of [Western Kentucky’s Mike] White.”
• Missouri has won four straight games thanks to a stellar offense. Mason said the Tigers’ attack is two-pronged. “[Lock] beats teams throwing the football, but last week they ran for over 400 [yards] on Tennessee. The biggest thing is you’ve got to make them one-dimensional. It always starts with stopping the run. We haven’t done a good enough job of stopping the run.”
• How will Vanderbilt respond to last week’s loss to Kentucky? Mason: “It’s more about confidence and technique than anything else. It’s more mental than physical.”
• Mason said he expects the Commodores to play with a chip on their shoulder for their final two games of the regular season. “If you think this team’s going to pitch a tent and, at the end of the day, call it quits, man, you’re wrong.”
• Mason on Senior Day: “It will be their last time that they’ll play on this field. With that being the case, they need to be emotionally charged… this team needs that edge.”
• Webb said he hasn’t given it much thought that Saturday is his final home game at Vanderbilt. “No, just giving it all I got, just feeling like I’m giving all I can give to this program. I’m just going to give it all I got like I do all the time.”
• Wiley said Vanderbilt’s defense has to get back to doing the little things right. “It’s doing your job, not doing someone else’s job… You have to be technique-sound, especially against a team like [Missouri].”
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.