Ole Miss played a turnover-free game, and the red zone problems that plagued the Rebels in last year’s 27-26 home loss to Vanderbilt did not materialize. Ole Miss was effective with quarterback runs near the goalline as Barry Brunetti and Bo
Wallace each had two short rushing touchdowns.
Four members of the much-heralded freshman class contributed in big ways.
As expected, pass defense was spotty, with inexperienced cornerbacks trying to guard Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews. They couldn’t get it done.
The offensive line allowed Vanderbilt to set the tone defensively in the first half, allowing four sacks and other pressure to reach Wallace.
Keys To Victory
(Updating the game keys from last week’s GameDay preview)
1. Shake up Carta-Samuels
In his first SEC start the Vanderbilt quarterback did not face nearly as much pressure as the Rebels will have to provide for opposing QB’s.
Samuels completed 21-of-36 attempts for 300 yards, 10 for 178 to Matthews.
2. Snap it fast
Tempo offense was better in the second half, and there seemed to be more of it overall.
It was particularly noticeable when Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze kept going back over and over to freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell in the third quarter.
3. Good decisions for Wallace
By and large there was improvement here. Wallace played a turnover-free game. He threw one pass, maybe two, that Vanderbilt had a chance to pick off but did not.
Wallace made good reads in the run game, and his best decision of the night was to hand the ball to Scott – not keep it and turn inside – with 1:07 left to play.
RB Jeff Scott: He had some good blocking by Donte Moncrief and Evan Engram on the edge, but at a time when the Rebels just needed a field goal, Scott didn’t run out of bounds and stop the clock.
Lots of room for improvement, but the Rebels got an opening night SEC win that they desperately needed, especially with a string of road games coming after this week’s home opener against Southeast Missouri State.