Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: 'Brian Kelly can take his comments and keep it moving'

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

A pointed comment from Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly's press conference on Tuesday doesn't appear to be sitting well with Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason.

On Tuesday, Kelly said Vanderbilt's defensive players were maliciously cutting Irish tight end Alizé Mack during Saturday's 22-17 Irish victory.

“It's legal, but it's bad football," Kelly said. "It's just bad football. And I have no problem saying it. You know, we're so concerned about frontal cuts, and we got a defensive end chopping him on every play. And he hung in there every play, was digging him out, blocking in line."

The clip below appears to be one of the plays Kelly was referencing. Mack (No. 86) starts on the left side of the line, slices across the field in an attempt to block Vanderbilt's edge defender on the right side. When he arrives there, outside linebacker Charles Wright dives at Mack's knees. Mack was slow to get up after the play.

During Wednesday's SEC teleconference, Mason was asked about Kelly's comments. He didn't hold back.

“Nowadays when we talk about playing football, you know, I really don’t care much about Brian Kelly’s comments about football," Mason said. "Because 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, OK?

"But what it comes down to is that the game gets played on the football field. Nowadays, OK, we’re asking defensive players to raise the target, lower the target, hit with their eyes up. All 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.”

Unfortunately for fans of feuding football coaches, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame do not have a future matchup scheduled.

Below is a second clip of Mack being hit low while trying to block a Vanderbilt defender. 

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Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason shook hands following the 22-17 Irish victory on Saturday. Since then, the two have accused the other team of playing “bad football.”