Vanderbilt Postgame Press Conference

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Dan Mullen, Kyle Trask and select other players will speak with us after the game.
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Mullen doesn't think the change in gameday protocol played a role in the slow start. He thinks they didn't have their best week of practice this week. They weren't as sharp from top-to-bottom and were inconsistent, and that's what the game looked like as well. He's pleased that his guys found a way to still win despite not playing their best.
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He says they didn't have a poor attitude, but this was just a "ho-hum" performance for them. They can't have those if they want to be a championship team.

On the fourth-and-1 on the opening drive of the half, he says they felt comfortable with the call they had and thought it was closer than it actually was. He thought that helped them create separation on the scoreboard.
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He says everything concerns him. It's not just one thing; they had numerous breakdowns on both sides that were disappointing. Not all missed tackles, incompletions or missed blocks are created equal. They have to evaluate everything and try to fix the mistakes in practice. They have a myriad of things to look at.
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Mullen says he's got a smile on his face because it's hard to win SEC games. He was pleased with coming away with a three-score win and controlling the game the entire second half.
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He says they built some team confidence today with some of the plays they made on both sides in the second half. The offense scored on a 99-yard drive, the defense forced them into a fourth-and-long and the defense got an interception in the end zone.
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He was disappointed that they didn't rotate defensively as much as he wanted earlier in the game. That's something he'll address with the defensive coaches.
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He says Tim Brewster has done a great job with Gamble and Zipperer, and they've both made massive steps since last year. They've stepped up big and played really well without Pitts.

He jokes that it's not his job to get Trask his fourth touchdown. That's Trask's job, and he missed a couple of chances.
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He says Vandy was in a three-deep zone on Grimes' TD. The safety squeezed inside, and Trask put it high and outside where only Grimes could catch it. Grimes made a spectacular catch.

That's all for Mullen.
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Kaiir Elam says his celebration was an immature mistake. It's something he'll have to learn from.
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He says the defense was looking over for the play and they didn't get lined up in time on the first TD. He was supposed to have inside leverage on the play. They have to clean that up if they want to win the SEC Championship.
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He says the receiver ran a slant-and-go on his interception, and double-moves were something they saw from them on film.

He thinks Vandy scored way too many points today. No one's going to lay down in this league, so they're still going to celebrate this win. They have to do a better job of practicing better.
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Elam says there were a lot stricter protocols on this road trip, but that's just something they'll have to adjust to.
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He says they shouldn't need a slow start to motivate them. They need to practice better, and that falls on the leaders such as him. He thinks they should've dominated this game and didn't.

That's all for Elam.
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Trask says it felt awesome to see Emory Jones throw a touchdown. He made the right read and put the game away.
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He says Mullen told them that he's been on championship teams that have come out flat, but they always finish strong. He thinks they did that today. There wasn't a lot of energy in the stands, but they need to do a better job of generating their own energy.
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He says they found a way to convert that fourth-and-1, and that was big for them coming out of the half.
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He says the drive before the half was huge. They knew Vandy had been playing a lot of drop coverage, so they found ways to get receivers in between and put some chunk players together in a row. "[Grimes] got up pretty high, and he made a great catch."
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Trask says they had a couple of days during the week where they could've been a lot better. It's a blessing just to be out there every Saturday, and they need to take advantage of those opportunities.
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He just wants to win, whether that means throwing 10 TDs or 0. This was a huge win for them.
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He says Vandy dropped eight on his deep throw to Shorter. He saw Wells and Shorter, and he pointed for both of them to go because they were both wide open. Shorter went and snatched it. They did a great job of executing the scramble drill.
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He says Gamble and Zipperer have worked hard and been very reliable. They're going to keep working and getting more opportunities.
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Trask says they knew they would have to pick apart the drop-eight zones. He thinks he did that for the most part.
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He says they've got to pick up the energy throughout the week, and they had great practices from that point forward.
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He says Kadarius Toney is so explosive, and anytime you can get the ball in his hands, you know he has the ability to break as many tackles as he wants to. He does a great job of finding the holes in the defense.
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He says the tight ends are a tight-knit group, and they know how to get open and block. He thinks they're doing a fantastic job.

That's all for today.
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