Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason isn’t shying away from responsibility for Vanderbilt’s awful 2014 season.

“We weren’t a very competitive football team in 2014, and that’s on me. I take full responsibility for that,” he said at the SEC Media Days in Florida today.

“We struggled to find identity,” he said. “What we’ve tried to do in the last eight months is try to right the wrong.”

When asked about pressure, he said: “It’s college football. I’ve been coaching 22 years. So my understanding is that every year I coach on a one-year mentality. That’s a mindset. That’s what you do. You understand exactly what this game is and what you have to do, and it’s about production. We’re going to be a better football team. What that is, I can’t predict 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 can do that. So I’m not going to be about predictions.”

Vanderbilt went 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the SEC last, but Mason pointed to the fact that the team played 33 freshmen last year. Mason said: “I believe that this football team has had a chance to mature. In that maturity, what you find is experience and the ability to step forward and get ready for a new season or move towards a new season.” He added: “Well, 2014’s got nothing to do with 2015, first of all. I think this football team is a different football team than we had a year ago.”




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