The Vest, Vaughn, and the Debut of Mo Hasan = Vanderbilt Victory. As Mo Hasan carried the anchor during Star Walk, he had an all-knowing smirk on his face. He knew he was making his season debut against Missouri. The last week has been a rough one for head coach Derek Mason and his team after the fans turned ugly last week in the game against UNLV. Yet, a respectable homecoming crowd ventured into the gray and drizzly day to support their Dores. What a difference a week makes.
Last week, I was defending Mason and this program. This week after the game, Mason let everyone know where he stands on their negative chatter. “It’s been a rough patch, but man I told my team this and I want everybody to understand this, ok? A lot of people want this job, so they think. But I’m the man that’s built for this job. Everyday man we grind. We grind. Don’t question us. Don’t question us. Who we are, what we do or how we play. We’re Vanderbilt men.” Mason stated passionately.
1. THE VEST
Look out #VESTIES! Your favorite tweeting vest is BACK for another season. The Vest made his first appearance on the field Saturday night for homecoming. It would seem his luck is in full effect as Vandy pulled off the upset of Missouri. The Vest originally gained fame during Vandy’s defeat of Tennessee in 2016. As Mason danced on the sidelines, his vest became a rallying tool for Vandy football. Shortly after the defeat of Tennessee, The Vest began tweeting, although the Vandy football office says the account is not run by them but an anonymous Vandy football fan. As quirky as it may be, The Vest never fails to rally the team and fans.
2. VAUGHN. Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn continues to be a bright spot for the Vanderbilt offense. His long runs always make for an exciting game, especially when he drags the defenders with him for several yards. Vaughn had 29 carries for 96 yards with one rushing touchdown. He also had four receptions for 80 yards and a second touchdown. Vaughn might be the workhorse, however, he is not alone out on the field. There are a host of offensive weapons for Hasan, Riley Neal, Or Duece Wallace to target. As the season enters its final month, the Commodores seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time.
3. We Want MO’…Mo Hasan
Mo Hasan made his 2019 debut, and he had the offense clicking on all cylinders immediately. There was a renewed sense of urgency as the Dores took the first snaps of the game. The defense kept the Tigers and Kelly Bryant in check, until the fourth possession of the game. Then Hasan ran for 21 yards to set up a first and goal situation. The pass to Ke’Shawn Vaughn was broken up, but the second down he punched it in. Mo was taken out of the game after a vicious hit to the head by Tyree Gillespie. Hasan was already on the ground when Gillespie made a helmet-to-helmet hit. Gillespie was ejected from the game for targeting. Hasan did not return to the game. Hopefully, Hasan will make a full recovery in time for their back to back road games.
4. Vanderbilt Victory = SMILES
Vandy heads into their second bye week of the season coming off of a huge upset over the ranked Missouri Tigers. The Dores need that week to rest up and get healthy for South Carolina. So, what changed from last week? Maybe Jason Tarver relocating to the press box, coupled with the debut of Mo Hasan. Who knows? Let’s hope the confidence boost of an upset win will help carry the team’s momentum into the final month of the season. It is worth noting Vandy ALMOST beat Missouri, Kentucky, and Florida last season. Perhaps this win will help put them over the top against Florida and Kentucky as well.