September 13, 2007

Ole Miss - Vanderbilt preview

The match-up: The game will be the 82nd meeting between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt dating back to 1894. The Rebels lead the series 46-33-2 and have won 12 of the last 14 meetings since 1992, including last year's 17-10 victory in Oxford. The Commodores hold a 25-20-2 lead in games played in Nashville, although the Rebels have won five of the last six meetings at Vanderbilt Stadium. Vanderbilt won in Nashville, 31-23 in 2005


At Stake: Both teams want to get to at least the .500 level, making the game a must win for each team. With the likes of Florida and Georgia coming up for Ole Miss, the last thing the Rebels can afford to do is take a loss headed into games against two teams they're supposed to lose to.


Keys to the Game: 1) Don't get out coached. Ole Miss has the overall talent advantage but can't let Vanderbilt exploit any weak areas, such at linebacker and in the secondary. 2) Make some defensive stops. Commodore wide receiver Earl Bennett is a major threat and the Rebels can't afford to let him beat them. Quarterback play has been spotty for Vanderbilt and the running game struggled against Alabama. Ole Miss needs early stops and not allow Vanderbilt to get confidence on offense early in the game. 3) Keep the offense rolling. It took a quarter to get it going against Missouri and Ole Miss needs to get Vanderbilt's defense on its heels early and keep them there, keeping the defense off the field.

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