NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt returns to SEC play this week with a road trip to No. 2 Georgia. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
On Tuesday, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason met the media to preview the matchup with the Bulldogs. He was joined by safety LaDarius Wiley and wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb.
Here’s what the Dores had to say:
• Mason said “It’s going to be a test for us. This football team is coming off what I could call a poor performance [against Tennessee State]. A great win, but a poor performance.”
• Mason said Georgia is every bit deserving of its No. 2 ranking. “The Georgia Bulldogs are a well-oiled machine. Kirby [Smart] is doing a terrific job of assembling talent. Those guys play extremely fast in all three phases.”
• Mason said Lipscomb has done a strong job of leading Vanderbilt’s receiving corps. “I said it going into the season, I thought Kalija was the most underrated receiver in this conference, and I still believe that.”
• Mason said he has yet to see Vanderbilt play to its potential in 2018. “I don’t know what that looks like yet. I’ve seen flashes, but I haven’t seen this group play 60 minutes and four quarters. That’s what it will take to play well down at Georgia.”
• Mason said winning third down will be key at Georgia. “We’re at about 50 percent [this season], which is definitely not good enough.”
• Mason said the Dawgs’ defense is opportunistic. “They’ve turned teams over early… [Then] you’re playing from behind. Our track record the last four weeks is we’ve played from behind. That’s not exactly where you want to be.”
• Lipscomb said the Commodores enjoy playing in challenging environments like Sanford Stadium. “We look forward to big games and big tests. Obviously they’re a pretty good team, it’s a pretty big stadium, between the hedges is a big place to play. We’re just excited to play there and play football in general.”
• What will it take to beat Georgia? Wiley: “It’s going to take everybody doing their jobs, us getting off the field first and foremost.”
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.