If tonight was any indication Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews is going to be having himself a year to remember. That’s what happens when you are coming off of a season that saw you catch 94 passes for 1323 yards, a school record, and eight touchdowns and then go out on opening night and catch 10 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown.
Matthews had a 55-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter but that was not the highlight of the night for the senior. In the fourth quarter Matthews caught a pass from Austyn Carta-Samuels over the middle and Matthews took a punishing hit that ended with his head slamming into the grass. Matthews would lose his dinner, his lunch and his breakfast after the hit that came with 3:12 left in the fourth. However, just before the two-minute warning with Vanderbilt facing a 4th and 18 Carta-Samuels found Matthews for a first down along the left hash mark for a gain of 42 yards that put the Commodores at the Ole Miss 34-yardline.
The very next play Carta-Samuels found a wide open Steven Scheu for a 34-yard touchdown pass. That would not have been possible had it not been for Matthews who showed the nation why he might just be the best wide receiver in college football.
Matthews had a chance to be the hero once again with Vanderbilt trailing 39-35 with less than a minute to play but the pass went through Matthews’ hands and into the waiting arms of Cody Pewitt. After the game Matthews could be seen on the sidelines being consoled by a member of the coaching staff, clearly spent emotionally and physically.
It was a tough loss for Matthews and Vanderbilt, especially to a conference rival on the first game of the season but Matthews showed the country that this season might be even better than last year and that will be pretty fun to watch.