Head to head: Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss

Next up for Vanderbilt is Ole Miss on Saturday. VandyMania.com compares different critical team areas of Vanderbilt and Ole Miss and indicates which team has the edge.

VANDERBILT
EDGE
AREA
Ole Miss
EDGE
COMMENTS
EVEN  
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Ole Miss rushing defense
EVEN  
This matchup will likely determine the outcome of the game. Vandy's rushing game is churning out 201 yards per game while Ole Miss has a tough run defense that only allows 100 yards per contest. Commodore true freshman Warren Norman has had two games in which he's ran for over 100 yards this season. Ole Miss's solid run defense recently held South Carolina to only 65 yards rushing.  
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Ole Miss passing defense
 
This matchup features the nation's No. 43 passing defense (190 ypg) against the No. 102 passing offense (167 ypg). The Commodores have had serious problems maintaining their stable of receivers. John Cole is the latest player to suffer from injury. Cornerback Cassius Vaughn has 4 breakups and an interception this season for Ole Miss. Vanderbilt quarterback Larry Smith showed improvement against Rice and completing 21 passes for 268 yards.  
EVEN  
Ole Miss rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
EVEN  
EVEN but leaning towards Ole Miss advantage. Running back Brandon Bolden and flanker Dexter McCluster are Ole Miss' top runners. The two combined average about 105 yards per game. McCluster gained 89 yards in the recent loss at South Carolina. Bolden had 105 in the Rebs lopsided win over Southeastern Louisiana. Vanderbilt's defense is led by Chris Marve who is second in the SEC in tackles with 35. Fellow linebacker Patrick Benoist is not far behind with 33 tackles.  
 
Ole Miss passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
 
It's surprising to see that Ole Miss, with highly touted quarterback Jevan Snead, is rated No. 93 nationally in passing. Snead was being promoted as a Heisman Trophy candidate but that seems to have gone out the window with his horrid showing in Columbia. However, don't discount Snead. He is an very skilled passer who might have just had his one off game of the season last week (last year it was against Vandy). Shay Hodge is Snead's top target. He has 9 catches for 147 and a touchdown this season. Vandy's secondary is led by All-American candidate Myron Lewis. Lewis has two interceptions, both came at Rice last week. Defensive end Theron Kadri three sacks on the season for Vandy.  
EVEN
Special Teams
EVEN  
Vanderbilt kicker Ryan Fowler has made 5-of-7 field goals this season. His longest has been from 37 yards. Vanderbilt is 116th in the nation in the net punting category (29 yards per punt). However, punter Brett Upson has a great ability to back opponents up deep in their own territory. Joshua Shene is 3-of-3 on field goals for the Rebels and his longest kick was from 42 yards. Tyler Campbell averages a solid 43 yards per punt. Ole Miss' net punting average is 34.06, about 5 yards longer than the Commodores.  
EVEN  
Coaching
EVEN  
Both Houston Nutt and Bobby Johnson are veteran, solid head coaches. Johnson is 2-1 versus Nutt with a win over Nutt last year in Oxford and in 2005 when Nutt was at Arkansas. Nutt's only win over Vandy came in 2006 when a last second Bryant Hahnfeldt field goal attempt blown off course by a sudden gust of wind.  
EVEN  
Intangibles
EVEN  
It's a home field advantage for Vandy but the advantage is not as great as what other SEC schools enjoy when they play at home. Ole Miss will be on a mission a) to avenge last year's loss to VU in Oxford b) to get back on track after the Thursday night loss at South Carolina.  


PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 20 Ole Miss 17

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