Ole Miss football was needing a breakout game and perhaps they found it Saturday as the Rebels took down the Vanderbilt Commodores 57-35 on homecoming.
Saturday’s game against Vandy would prove to be the breakout game Ole Miss football was looking for. After 3 straight losses and 0-2 in the SEC the Rebels needing to rebound and make a statement. In front of a homecoming crowd of 60,197 the Rebels put on an offensive show and defeated the Dores 57-35.
Although it took the Rebels a quarter to really find their groove, they did find it. Ole Miss offense put up 57 points and amassed 603 yards of total offense. Of course, we all expected Shea Patterson to have a great day and he did. On the afternoon, Shea was 22 of 35 for 351 yards passing and 4 TDs. We know what we are getting in the passing game with Shea and his very talented group of WRs.
Ole Miss Rebels Football
This wide receiver corp is the best in the SEC and perhaps the entire nation. The NWO showed out in this game. These receivers continue to impress as they dig into the season. They are all fast and have great hands.
However, the story of the day was the Ole Miss rushing attack which has eluded the Rebels thru three losses. Coach Phil Longo found a rushing game and it showed with 252 yards on the ground.
Jordan Wilkins once again received the bulk of the Ole Miss carries with 18 rushes for 120 yards on the ground. According to OleMissSports.com,
"“I think a back like Jordan, the more you feed him the ball, the better he gets.” ~Coach Phil Longo"
Although Wilkins had the most carries and yardage, there was another back who emerged in the Vandy game. Eric Swinney had 7 carries for 76 yards rushing while backup QB Jordan Ta’amu had 3 carries for 32 yards. Wilkins and Swinney both had rushing TDs.
This Ole Miss offense is running on all cylinders since half-time at Auburn. Anytime you can put up 600+ against an SEC team you’ve done well. Congrats to the Ole Miss offense!
The Dark Side!
Before we go beating up on the Ole miss defense for giving up 35 points, we need to look at the defensive stats. Sure, Ole Miss gave up a few., so what. When your offense can put up 57 points you might have to watch a little bend but don’t break defense. That’s what we saw from the Crimedawg D in the Vandy game.
Although they did give up 35 points they still played hard and fast and made some huge plays. While allowing 401 yards of offense by Vandy the Rebels did limit the Vandy ground game to just 188 yards. There was a noticeable difference in the run defense from the past three games.
Marquis Haynes has finally found his sack groove and lived in the Vandy backfield most of the afternoon. While OM accumulated 7 sacks in the game Haynes had 3 of them. Haynes also forced 2 fumbles and scored a safety. DeMarquis Gates continues his level of play and had 10 tackles in the contest. Gates also had 2 sacks. Of course, with the added pressure on the Vanderbilt QB it allowed the secondary to make some big plays as well. Javien Hamilton had an INT in the game.
This Ole Miss defense is still finding their way. Defense is the side of the ball which is hardest to gel. Once this defensive unit finds itself, they’ll play even better. It’s like Novocaine, just give it time to work and the pain will eventually go away.
The Ole Miss Rebels will host the LSU Tigers this coming Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:15pm CT. Hotty Toddy!