First-year Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason kept the competition at quarterback running through spring practice and fall camp, but it concluded on Thursday night with the announcement that sophomore Patton Robinette will start the season opener against Temple.
Robinette, a starter in three games last season, beat out redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary, LSU transfer Stephen Rivers and freshman Wade Freebeck and Shawn Stankavage for the job. McCary and Rivers are expected to be the primary backups behind Robinette.
"I'm excited for Patton as we prepare this team for the season opener next Thursday," Mason said. "Patton has really made strides and consistently improved from the spring to now. I believe he has worked to earn this opportunity."
When Austyn Carta-Samuels went down with an injury against Georgia in 2013, Robinette stepped in and led Vanderbilt to a win and then again at Florida (the program's first win in Gainesville since 1945). Both quarterbacks saw action as the Commodores finished the season with a bowl win against Houston and a five-game winning streak.
Vanderbilt and Temple will face off in the night cap on Thursday, Aug. 28, the first full day of college football. The Commodores are more than a two-touchdown favorite in the game.