Hugh Freeze has taken over the Ole Miss Rebels and is slowly, but surely, turning them into one of the best teams in the nation. With top recruiting classes coming in year after year, it won’t be long before the Rebels are playing for conference, and maybe even national, titles. After an impressive week one win against Boise State, those titles may happen sooner rather than later.
Losing head coach James Franklin to Penn State might be one of the more devastating losses in recent history for the Vanderbilt Commodores — even including the 37-7 thrashing they suffered at the hands of Temple. It might be a long season for Vanderbilt as it looks like their schedule won’t be too forgiving — especially playing in the SEC.
Relying on veteran quarterback Bo Wallace may not be such a bad thing for the Rebels to do this season as he engineered one of the best week one performances of any quarterback in the nation in terms of yards. Wallace completed 25 of 36 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns but his one weakness was his inability to keep the ball away from the wrong colored jersey, throwing three interceptions as well. Cody Core led all wide outs with 110 yards and two touchdowns on four catches while Wallace’s favorite target was Laquon Treadwell who had seven catches for 105 yards and a score. The run game was basically non-existent as Ole Miss finished with just 71 total yards rushing.
Vanderbilt had a horrid week one performance on the offensive side of the ball. To be fair, they didn’t excel on either side of the ball, but the lack of offense didn’t take any pressure off the defense. Stephen Rivers was sub-par at best, completing just 12 of his 25 passes for 186 yards and no touchdowns — but he did throw a lone interception. He got little help from his receivers as C.J. Duncan led the way with 58 yards on two catches and Steven Scheu had three catches for 45 yards. The rushing offense failed to break the century mark as Ralph Webb led the way with 70 yards on 14 carries. The offense failed to record a touchdown against Temple as the only score came on a fumble recovery in the endzone.
Defensively, the Commodores weren’t all too bad against Temple. Vanderbilt allowed 352 total yards and had a bit of trouble against the pass, allowing 207 yards and two touchdowns to the opposing quarterback. Ole Miss had a bit more trouble trying to contain Boise State as it allowed 399 yards to the Broncos while 264 of those yards came in the air. The Rebels did a solid job of stopping the run and they held Boise State to just 13 points.
Ole Miss will travel to Vanderbilt to take on the Commodores at 4:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Sept. 6. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Ole Miss 38, Vanderbilt 13
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.