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VANDERBILT FIRST LOOK: OLE MISS

The Vanderbilt Commodores visit the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday. Here is your first look at the Rebels.

SEASON SO FAR (2-3, 0-2 SEC)

Date Opponent Score
09/02/2017 S. Alabama W 47-27
09/09/2017 UT Martin W 45-23
09/16/2017 at California L 27-16
09/30/2017 at Alabama L 66-3
10/07/2017 at Auburn L 44-23

STAT COMPARISON

VU PPG 20.3 37.4 OLM DEF PPG
VU TOTAL OFF 277.0 456.2 OLM TOTAL DEF
VU PASSING OFF 200.3 207.6 OLM PASSING DEF
VU RUSHING OFF 76.7 248.6 OLM RUSHING DEF
OLM PPG 26.8 25.8 VU DEF PPG
OLM TOTAL OFF 434.4 381.3 VU TOTAL DEF
OLM PASSING OFF 358.4 140.3 VU PASSING DEF
OLM RUSHING OFF 76.0 241.0 VU RUSHING DEF
VU TO MARGIN 0.50 -0.80 OLM TO MARGIN

INJURIES AND SUSPENSIONS

Date Pos Player Injury Status
10/08/17 DE Qaadir Sheppard Ankle ? Saturday vs. Vanderbilt
09/14/17 C Eli Johnson ACL out for season
09/02/17 LS Chadwick Lamar Personal has left team

Source: donbest.com

CHALLENGES

Vanderbilt has finally completed the dreaded four-game gauntlet. Thankfully the Commodores were able to get out of one of those games with a win. They might have played better against Florida if not for the shocking, traumatic experience against Bama the week prior. Those games all serve as a lesson learned for the future. Don't say anything about your opponents unless its something that will flatter them. Stuff like "We are built to beat Georgia" or "Alabama, You're next" is stuff you say in the locker room. When teams are doing really well the thing that worries their coaches the most other than maybe injuries, is their team showing up flat for a game. When an opponent makes cocky remarks it just helps the opposition get fired up for that lesser opponent and makes that lesser opponent look foolish when the ball game is over.

The biggest challenge for this game with Ole Miss is to get the Black Death Defense back on track. They actually showed a few signs of life in the Georgia game. The defense needs to forget about the previous three games and approach this game with the same mentality they had going into the Kansas State game. The VU offense should be able to put enough points on the board to have a decent shot at beating Ole Miss. If the defense can hold the Rebels to under 24 points Vandy should win. The biggest challenge personnel wise for Vandy is stopping quarterback Shea Patterson who averages about 368 yards a game passing. Vandy's strength defensively has been defending the pass. This game will show how good the Vandy defense really is in that area. They got the job done against another team that mostly passes, MTSU, so hopefully they'll take care of business on Saturday in Oxford.

It's been announced that the Ole Miss interim head coach, Matt Luke, will not be retained at that position. This could help or hurt the Rebels mentally depending on how it was handled. Let's not let Vandy be the only SEC win for this interim coach like we saw at South Carolina a couple years ago when Steve Spurrier had stepped down.

Saturday's game at Ole Miss kicks off at 2:30 pm CT and can be seen on the SEC Network.

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