After the historic and dominant 40-0 win over Kentucky the Commodores get to hit the road again, this time to Oxford to face Mississippi. This game is crucial for both teams as each stands at 5-4 and is one win away from Bowl eligibility. Vandy can expect to get everything the Rebels can throw at them as their last two games (LSU & Mississippi State) are against teams that are currently ranked. With that in mind here are the three keys to a Commodore victory.
1) Make Bo Wallace beat you with his arm
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace is one of those streaky, yet very dangerous dual threat quarterbacks who can win a game on his own if he gets hot. The key for Vanderbilt in containing Wallace is to take away his scrambling ability, especially on those crucial third downs when a running quarterback can come into his own. If Vandy can make Wallace beat them through the air there will be plenty of opportunities for one of the best defenses in the country to pick him off and change the game. Wallace has almost as many interceptions as touchdowns this season (11 TDs, 10 Ints) and he has thrown six of those in his last five games. Vandy will win this if Wallace is quiet on the ground.
2) Stop the Ole Miss red zone attack
One of the themes earlier this year for the Commodores was the inability to turn red zone opportunities into points. Though this has been corrected of late, Vandy could learn a lot from the Rebels offense when they get the ball inside the 20. Mississippi is the only SEC team without a red zone turnover, and as a result the Rebels are a perfect 17-of-17 scoring on red-zone trips in SEC play. One way the 'Dores could quickly take over this game is to stop that streak.
3) Win the war of attrition
It is now November, everyone is at least a little beaten up (Maryland for example is on its fifth quarterback). Vandy, however, has generally managed to steer clear of the injury bug and is probably about as healthy as anyone in the country with three games left. Mississippi on the other hand is feeling the toll of a long season. This week four starters and two key reserves missed practice time with a variety of ailments and while most are expected to play it is unclear just how healthy they are. As a result it would be very helpful for the 'Dores to make this physical and take advantage of their superior fitness at this late stage of the year.
Three Keys: Vanderbilt at Ole Miss
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