Predictions Anyone?

Strictly for entertainment purposes, here’s the weekly guess. Leave your logic below.

Yesterday I was driving back from the media opp in which former Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat discussed his new book and along the way was doing a mental checklist on what I have and haven’t done for game week coverage.

It was then that I remembered the predictions post. A Thursday game has me off base a little bit. This post will appear on Thursdays for a regular Saturday game.

Things are different in a shortened game week, so here we go.

I do not believe the rape case at Vanderbilt will be a distraction for the Commodores. If all that had happened last week and not in June then perhaps.

When you’ve gone through a summer of conditioning followed by the long, hot month that is August, June seems like a long time ago.

The bigger issue for Vanderbilt will be the status of WR Chris Boyd. He’s 6-4 and had 50 catches with five touchdowns last year. He’s their No. 2 WR and is currently suspended, but Ole Miss players and coaches have prepared as if he will play.

Boyd is a big deal. The third-leading Vanderbilt last year was running back Wesley Tate with 12 catches. If Boyd doesn’t play that gives the Rebels’ inexperienced cornerbacks more time to focus on Jordan Matthews (94 catches, 1,323 yards, 8 TDs last year).

Vanderbilt returns a lot of experience but will have three new defensive line starters. Those who have watched the Commodores in practice say this is an area in which there’s been really good recruiting, and there are high expectations for the new starters.

Ole Miss returns four out of offensive linemen. This wasn’t a big, physical group last year, and this will be a good test to see if they have truly improved.

I like the Rebels at running back, even though there’s very little experience behind Jeff Scott.

If Ole Miss has success between the 20s the way it did last year this game will turn on what the Rebels get done in the red zone. They were terribly inefficient down close against the Dores a year ago, and it ended it up costing them the game. The Rebels kicked three field goals of less than 30 yards in a one-point loss. Had they scored touchdowns they’d have won going away. Another point to consider in a field-goal kicking game. Ole Miss no longer has the reliable Bryson Rose, and Andrew Ritter will be making his first start as the placement kicker.

Offensive coordinator Dan Werner seemed to take the lack of red zone success all on his shoulders at the Monday presser this week. Bo Wallace claimed some of the blame too, saying his own poor decisions factored into scoring field goals instead of touchdowns.

Hugh Freeze called out Wallace for poor decisions the first week of camp, but Wallace seems to have distanced himself from that and finished the month in pretty good shape in that regard. The shoulder seems good too, throws have been strong and accurate for the most part, at least the ones open for media view.

Here’s the bottom line: These teams were evenly matched last year and should be again. Both were playing well at the end of 2012. Both were impressive in bowl games, and both enter the season with high expectations.

In situations like this the team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.

Prediction: Ole Miss 26, Vanderbilt 20

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Football
  • JB

    Vanderbilt 31 Ole Miss 28

    • Killer_Beeze

      CBSSports had a “live” sports show on TV last night with a panel of sport’s gurus: Ron Zook, Houston Nutt and a couple others and they all UNANIMOUSLY predicted an Ole Miss win. They were emphatic that the Rebels will beat the ‘Dores.They know more about the game than I ever will.

      Hope they’re right. Fins UP!!!

      • Cid Riley

        Yup..Zooker and Nutt are geniuses…they definitely know more than you do, KB. I don’t pull for MSU..I like to watch Clemson. #olemissprobation2014

        • Killer_Beeze

          And they certainly know more than you slick. Regardless of what you think of them they have been very successful in their careers. The only people who have the biggest grudge against the Rebels is the MSU crowd. Why do you feel so compelled to come on an Ole Miss blog and trash the Rebels? I have no interest in Clemson…thus, no reason to trash ’em. It appears you have some personal vendetta against the University of Mississippi. You need to “get a life” duuuude.
          My pappy (before he left this shtty world) always told me to keep my mouth shut if I didn’t have anything nice to say about someone or something.

        • handy010

          Cid, you are a liar. You are a MooU fan thru and thru. You have no life so you spend hour upon hour on here spreading your hate and lies. I told you when you called yourself Buell Dag, you are a sad little boy

      • JB

        Ron did not do what Gator fans expected of him..Zook’s record fell well short of what Florida fans had come to expect. In his three seasons the Gators lost more games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium than in twelve seasons under Spurrier. And away he went to illinios. Houston Nutt on the other hand was a winning coach until he wound up at Ole Miss, then you Rebels fans remember coach Nutt. His record while at Ole Miss against Vandy was a losing one, won 2 lost 3, and two of those season he had 9-4 record, but one of those 4 loses in 2006 was to Vanderbilt. So these two gurus may know football – They were fired. axed.” Mr. Ole Miss” (I seen this new name for Old Col Reb todayl in the sports of Tupelo journal may beat Vanderbilt tomorrow night but I will believe it when i see it.

        • Killer_Beeze

          JB…I have no idea why you have –as your avatar–a picture of Johnny Reb and the Rebel flag. That’s a real enigma considering you don’t talk like an Ole Miss fan.
          As for Zook & Nutt…CBSSports thinks enough of their “professional opinions” to feature them on their national sports panel show. Both men have also appeared together on CSS Sports shows and also on an ESPNU sports show (I believe it was called “the Experts” or something like that) where 6 or 8 coaches sit in a semi-circle with a moderator and discuss college football.
          IF Ole Miss wins by ONE point tonight JB…I’ll be happy.

          • JB

            KB I was once a die hard Rebel fan, but much of their political correctness has distanced me from them. Houston Nutt had my hopes built up when he came to Ole Miss, thinking he was going to establish that winning tradition once again, something happened then things went bad for him and he was fired, as far as Hugh Freeze is concerned he did perform a miracle last season, but can his miracles continue. We shall see tonight at Nashville where the Dores and Rebels go to battle.KB I haves the highest respect for you, i believe that you are a true Johnny Reb the best to you.

          • Killer_Beeze

            JB, you must have faith. The faith of the Rebel Nation is what will push this Ole Miss program forward and help establish a pathway to Atlanta.
            Coach Freeze–in his very first year–took a broken down program (literally),rallied the troops and made them believe that they were capable and would not play second fiddle to anyone. The Rebels sadly lost to Vandy,LSU and TAMU by a total of nine points! Had Coach Freeze been blessed with the talent he has now, Ole Miss may have won those three games. Gotta believe and let the cards land where they may…hopefully in the winning column.
            Best2you JB.

            Fins UP!!!

  • Cid Riley

    Great analysis PA. To win in SEC play, you have have a strong running game. Vandy has some speed in the D backfield, but can the front 7 contain Scott, Blister and the others…Rebelbear Sharkfins. 24 Vanderville 21….thats a push in Monaco casino talk.

    • Parrish Alford

      I am interested to see how the running backs play out. I think the Rebels have a shot at being pretty good at the position, but potential and production are different things.

    • Billy

      Who is Blister?

  • Lee814

    OM 31-20

  • Cid Riley

    Bo “the blister” Wallace…the human turnover machine.

  • REB

    Your welcome, you ole rascal. FINS UP UP AND AWAY!!!!!!!!!! also a prayer for our good ole football program, players and coaches’

  • Cid Riley

    Zook was handed the keys to the penthouse and puked before he got out of the elevator.Nutt also choked. KB, I thought I had the right to say, in print whatever I feel. Know your rights…these are your rights!!!

  • Cid Riley

    I don’t consider pointing out facts…trashing. I do however, consider using coeds, cash and merchandise to lure prospects…CHEATING!!!

  • UMBBFan

    Ole Miss 42 Vandy 21

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