Report Card: Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss

Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss 30-7 on Saturday. analyzes every element of the Commodores' performance and assigns a grade to each area.



Ole Miss

Larry Smith completed 13-20 passes for 103 yards and no interceptions. His top target was Wesley Tate who caught 4 passes for 26 yards. Chris Boyd snared 3 catches and for the first time in his collegiate career none of his catches were for scores. The offensive line gave Smith decent protection. Just like last year in Oxford, Wesley Johnson (now a center) was named the SEC's Offensive Lineman of the Week.
Things didn't look good early but VU things got going in the second quarter. The nifty Statue of Liberty play helped the team overcome a second and long situation. Jerron Seymour had a rugged 9-yard run to put the Commodores up 21-0 just before halftime. Later Zac Stacy rambled 77-yards to give VU a 30-0 lead. The team finished with 281 yards rushing, 169 of it came via Stacy. Seymour picked up 60 yards on 16 carries. Can't forget Larry Smith nice run to get the Commodores on top 7-0.
The Vanderbilt defense absolutely brutalized Ole Miss quarterback Zack Stoudt. Sean Richardson, Eddie Foster, Javon Marshall and Trey Wilson (2) all came up with huge interceptions. Wilson returned one of his 52 yards for a touchdown. Although Rob Lohr came up with the only sack from Vandy, the Commodore defense put pressure on Stoudt throughout the game. On the pick six by Wilson, Stoudt was hit hard by Walker May right before he released the ball.
Vanderbilt limited the Rebels to only 85 yards rushing. The supposedly dangerous Jeff Scott finished with 43 yards in 15 carries; that's an average of just 2.9 yards per carry. Brandon Bolden did a little better with 39 yards in eight carries for a 4.9 yard average. Tristan Strong, six solos, led Vandy in tackles with eight. Rob Lohr had two tackles including 1 1/2 for losses.
There was much hype about Ole Miss punter Tyler Campbell who averaged 48 yards a punt prior to Saturday's game. However, Richard Kent clearly out-punted Campbell by averaging 51.8 yards on four punts to Campbell's 44.5 yards (not chopped liver). Neither team attempted a field goal. Vanderbilt's return teams limited also highly regarded Jeff Scott to a long punt return of just 13 yards and a 25-yard kickoff return. Meanwhile Vandy's Jonathan Krause had an 18-yard punt return and Eric Samuels had a 25-yard kickoff return.
James Franklin and his staff continue to work wonders with this team. The statue of Liberty play was a thing of genius. It'll be interesting to see when it is used again this season. Bob Shoop and his defense have allowed only three offensive touchdowns all season and lead the nation in interceptions. Franklin seems to be very proficient at keeping his team focused on what's important: The next game. More rough waters are ahead for the 3-0 Commodore skipper but the team will enjoy this victory while it can.
Franklin and his boys have now beaten two highly regarded coaches, Houston Nutt and Paul Pasqualoni, in consecutive weeks. Vandy will get a shot at another great coach this week when it pays a visit to the Ole Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier. A win in Columbia would turn Nashville, the SEC and college football upside down.

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