Dylan Rubino- The Daily Mississippian Sports Editor
Dear Ole Miss, do not take Vanderbilt lightly.
Those are the scoresof the past two meetings between the Rebels and the Commodores.
We all remember the 39-35 win last season with the 75-yard touchdown run by former running back Jeff Scott with just over a minute remaining in the game. In 2012, the score did not go the Rebels’ way.
Vanderbilt has hadthe upper hand over Ole Miss recently, winning five of the past seven meetings.
That being said, Vanderbilt always seems to give the Rebels a great contest.
However, the Derek Mason era in Nashville could not have started off worse as the Commodores began their season with a demoralizing 37-7 loss to Temple.
The offense against Temple only produced seven points by playing three quarterbacks and none of them impressed. The three quarterbacks combined for three interceptions, two of them thrown by freshman Johnny McCray. The first interception was thrown by recent senior LSU transfer Stephen Rivers, brother of NFL quarterback Philip Rivers. The Vanderbilt defense played well, holding Temple to 351 yards of total offense, but mistakes on offense forced the defense to play in tough spots.
Ole Miss struggled for the first half but turned on the jets and cruised to the 35-13 victory over Boise State, thanks to the offense scoring four touchdowns in the 4th quarter.
However, the running game needs some work, only totaling 71 rushing yards last Thursday.
Rebel nation saw the good and the bad Bo Wallace as well.
The bad Bo was the first half, where he threw three interceptions. The good Bo was in the fourth quarter where he threw three touchdown passes. Which Bo Wallace will we see Saturday at LP Field in Nashville?
The defense held Boise State to just 13 points, and the defense will get even better with the return of junior linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche after he was suspended for the season opener.
This year, the game won’t be close. The struggles on offense for Vanderbilt will continue as they face the swarming Rebel defense, looking to make a statement as one of the best in the conference. The good Bo will come out as he cuts down on the turnovers and puts up big numbers. Hugh Freeze will have his team motivated and ready to go. The Rebels will not take Vanderbilt lightly and will put on a dominant display.
Ole Miss 41, Vanderbilt 14
Alison Isabelle Mast- The Vanderbilt Hustler Sports Editor
On Saturday, the Ole Miss Rebels will face both an unfamiliar and a familiar foe in the Vanderbilt Commodores.
With the departure of several key players, including Jordan Matthews, Jonathan Krause and Andre Hal, Vanderbilt is left with a relatively young team.
First-year head coach Derek Mason fielded 21 freshmen last Thursday; he has made it clear that he will continue to play freshmen if they perform better than their upperclassman counterparts.
Despite the new uniforms, the new coach and the new 3-4 defense, the Commodores played like Vanderbilt teams of old.
Three quarterbacks entered the game against Temple, and all three failed to impress. Johnny McCrary was, perhaps, the biggest disappointment as he failed to complete any of his three attempted passes. Two of his three passes ended in interceptions. Running back Ralph Webb picked up a respectable 70 yards, but Brian Kimbrow’s fumble and negative rushing yards fail to inspire confidence in Vanderbilt’s running game. As the clock expired, Vanderbilt had seven points to Temple’s 37, and all seven were posted by special teams.
Ole Miss, on the other hand, started the season with a win. In the 35-13 victory over Boise State, quarterback Bo Wallace flaunted both his strengths and weaknesses. He threw for an impressive 387 yards, which should be a scary stat for Vanderbilt’s young defense. On the other hand, Wallace threw three interceptions.
The Commodores are still getting accustomed to the 3-4 defensive scheme, and an experienced quarterback might prove too much for them to handle.
Simply put, the performance of the Vanderbilt offense will determine the outcome of this game. If the Commodores’ points equal their turnovers again this week, this could be a blowout.
However, this is unlikely, as the offense is in better hands with Stephen Rivers at the helm. Ole Miss will get the “W,” but Vanderbilt will put up a fight.
Ole Miss 38, Vanderbilt 17