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Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason tells Brian Kelly to move along or ‘come see me’

Alex Kirshner

2-3 minutes

A few days after Notre Dame beat Vanderbilt in a squeaker on Saturday, Brian Kelly had some harsh things to say about the way the Commodores played.

Kelly was wound up, specifically, about how Vandy played against Irish tight end Alizé Mack. Kelly said the Dores routinely went low to eliminate Mack from plays.

“I mean, he was getting cut maliciously by their defensive end. It’s bad football,” Kelly said at his weekly press conference. The coach was talking about plays like this one:

A reporter asked Kelly if that was legal.

“It’s legal, but it’s bad football,” Kelly said. “It’s just bad football. And I have no problem saying it. We’re so concerned about frontal cuts, and we’ve got a defensive end chopping him on every play.”

Debate the “bad football” part, but Kelly’s right that it’s legal.

Defensive players are allowed to cut-block within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, as long as they’re not doing it against someone who’s trying to catch a pass or a lateral.

The NCAA has some new cut-blocking rules this year, but they deal entirely with offenses. What Vanderbilt did to Mack on the above play has been allowed for years.

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason, in turn, accused Notre Dame of “bad football” and said Kelly should “keep it moving” or “come see me.”

Mason’s response:

“I don’t really care much about Brian Kelly’s comments about football. When you go back and watch that game from the holding to the post chops by Notre Dame, I thought it was bad football on their part,” Mason said.

“What it comes down to is that the game gets played on the football field. Nowadays, we’re asking defensive players to raise the target, lower the target, hit with their eyes up. All of these things are really a part of football.

With Brian Kelly, Brian Kelly can take his comments and keep it moving. If he’s got something personal with me, he can come see me.”

There’d already been a light dash of drama around this game after a Mason quote from SEC Media Days that he “didn’t worry about going to South Bend” got taken out of context.

This is some real beef, though!

Here’s the honest truth, having seen some of this game.

They’re both guilty of bad football.

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