– The Rebels’ defense improved its pressure with a season-high eight tackles-for-loss.
The improvisation skills of QB Jeremiah Masoli helped him rush for 104 yards and turn in some big plays, one a 28-yard touchdown. Three of his passes – sure touchdowns – were dropped.
– Two rushing plays the defense did not defend well were game-breakers, a 35-yard run and an 80-yard run, both of them touchdowns.
The offense had too many empty possessions.
Masoli’s reckless style of play has its benefits but also has its risks, such as the interception returned for a touchdown. He’s thrown four picks in three games – on pace for 16 in 12 games.
The offensive line is struggling.
Keys to victory in review
– Evaluating the keys to victory in Saturday’s GameDay edition:
1. Win the take-away battle: The Rebels forced no turnovers and gave it up three times. Vandy scored off one turnover and scored one play after another.
2. Stick to your man: Vanderbilt, a run-oriented team, took some shots with the deep ball but hurt Ole Miss the most when the Rebels had assignment busts in their run defense.
3. Score for four quarters: The Rebels had trouble scoring, regardless of quarter.
– LB D.T Shackleford: The sophomore had six tackles, a sack and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. He was not on the field for Warren Norman’s 80-yard TD.
– Running the football covers a multitude of sins, and it’s a must in the SEC. There was improvement on defense, but there’s much more improvement to make, and the Rebels must solve its line woes to move forward on offense.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal