college football picks Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 9-18-10

September 17, 2010

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DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 18th, 12:21 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Vaught-Hemingway (60,580) — Oxford, Mississippi. Television:SEC Network. Home Record: Vanderbilt 0-2, Ole Miss 0-1. Away Record: Vanderbilt 0-0, Ole Miss 1-0. Neutral Record: Vanderbilt 0-0, Ole Miss 0-0. Conference Record: Vanderbilt 0-1, Ole Miss 0-0. Series Record: Ole Miss leads, 47-35-2.

GAME NOTES: The Ole Miss Rebels kick off their SEC slate this weekend, as they host the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.

The Rebels picked up their first win of the 2010 campaign over the weekend, tallying a 27-13 triumph at Tulane. It was the 10th straight win in the series for Ole Miss, which desperately need a solid effort following a 49-48 double- overtime loss at home to Jacksonville State to start the season. The Rebels are now set to kick off a three-game homestand and their SEC slate after going 4-4 within the league a year ago.

Vanderbilt, meanwhile, got its SEC schedule started this past weekend with a 27-3 loss to nationally-ranked LSU. The Commodores, who were edged 23-21 by Northwestern in their opener, are now 0-2 for the first time sine 2006. Furthermore, Vanderbilt has dropped 10 straight games overall as well as in conference play.

As far as the all-time series goes, Ole Miss holds a 47-35-2 advantage over Vanderbilt and that includes a 23-7 victory in last season’s meeting.

The Commodores simply couldn’t get anything going on offense this past week, managing only 135 total yards and a field goal in a loss to LSU. It was quite a turnaround for Vanderbilt, which rolled up 432 total yards in the opener versus Northwestern. QB Larry Smith had a rough game, as he completed 8-of-15 tosses for just 70 yards while being sacked six times. A lack of protection wasn’t the only problem for Smith, as Vanderbilt never got its ground attack going, rushing for only 65 yards on 32 carries. Warren Norman and Zac Stacy combined for 87 yards, but a bulk of that came on a 51-yard burst by Norman. Still, if Vanderbilt is to have success it will be on the ground after averaging 160 rushing ypg in ’09.

Defensively, the Commodores simply could not stop the run, as LSU gained 280 yards and scored three TDs on the ground. This was the same issue as last season, when Vanderbilt gave up nearly 200 rushing ypg. The defense also surrendered 17 points in the fourth quarter, as unit was obviously worn down by LSU’s 50 rushing attempts. Jay Fullam guided the defense in the loss with 12 stops and two forced fumbles, while Tim Fugger had a forced fumble and 1.5 sacks.

Jeremiah Masoli threw for 281 yards and a score and added another TD on the ground, as Ole Miss bounced back from a shocking season opening loss to beat Tulane on the road. The former Oregon star completed 14-of-20 pass attempts, but was also picked off for the second time in as many games in an Ole Miss uniform. Markeith Summers was his main target, as he pulled in five balls for 165 yards, including a 70-yard TD reception. It was the second straight game in which Summers was on the receiving end of a TD pass. Ole Miss, however, managed just 92 yards on the ground and that was a big drop off after rushing for 237 yards in the opener. Expect a few more rushing attempts versus Vanderbilt’s soft run defense this weekend.

The Rebels’ defense struggled with JSU in the opener, but came on strong last weekend and limited Tulane to 312 total yards. Ole Miss also did a nice job of avoiding another second-half collapse, as the defense kept Tulane to 10 points after the break. The unit, which didn’t have a single takeaway in the opener, even forced a pair of fumbles while also recording five sacks. Jonathan Cornell was unstoppable, as he recorded three of the team’s sacks to go with 11 stops and a forced fumble.

Ole Miss is simply the more talented team and Masoli’s dual-threat ability will help the Rebels prevail in this one.


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