Ole Miss Football Three Keys: Vanderbilt

Three keys Ole Miss

Ole Miss faces Vanderbilt on Saturday in Oxford. Here are your three keys to an Ole Miss win over Vanderbilt.

By Steve Wright

The Rebels showed well at times against Alabama last time out before falling to the Crimson Tide machine. Next up, Ole Miss has a home game against a Vanderbilt team that hasn’t been great this season, but that is coming into this off of a nice win over an underrated Northern Illinois squad.

Key 1 – Find time for John Rhys Plumlee

Ole Miss starter Matt Corral didn’t play against Alabama due to bruised ribs suffered against Cal. In his stead, the Rebels started John Rhys Plumlee, a true freshman who rushed for 109 yards against the vaunted Crimson Tide defense.

In all the Rebels rushed for 279 yards against Alabama – the most by any team against the Crimson Tide in eight years – so it is easy to see why Plumlee might retain his position in the lineup. Even if he doesn’t start, there simply has to be packages in the game plan that will allow Plumlee to get on the field and get the ball in his hands.

Key 2 – Look for Elijah Moore

Even with that rushing onslaught against Alabama, it is an Ole Miss WR that is the show stealer for the Rebels on offense. Elijah Moore leads the SEC in catches with 32 after reeling in three more against Alabama, and he has done that without a single dropped pass on his resume this season. No matter which QB is in the game, Moore has to be the focal point of the passing offense. He is simply too good at route running and making yards after the catch to not be a feature.

Key 3 – Disrupt Riley Neal

Neal had his best game in a Commodores uniform in the win against Northern Illinois in Nashville on Saturday. The numbers weren’t gaudy, especially by modern college football standards, but Neal was an efficient 21-of-28 for 189 yards and a touchdown. The worrying aspect for the Rebels defense here is the completion percentage. Neal was hitting his WRs at a 75% clip, an outstanding mark by any standard. That means his accuracy was on point and they Commodores were a couple of broken tackles away from huge gains. Tackling has to be a priority here as the Vandy receivers cannot be allowed to make defenders miss and turn short passes into big plays.

Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.

This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis

GameFirst Looks3 Keys
HighlightsFinal Stats
Auburn vs. FloridaFlorida / AuburnFlorida / AuburnPreviewFlorida 24, Auburn 14Stats
Utah State vs. LSUUtah St.LSUPreviewLSU 42, Utah St. 6Stats
Vanderbilt vs. Ole MissOle Miss / VandyOle Miss / VandyPreviewOle Miss 31, Vandy 6Stats
Troy vs. MissouriTroyMizzouPreviewMizzou 42, Troy 10Stats
Georgia vs. TennesseeGeorgia / TennesseeTennessee / GeorgiaPreviewGeorgia 43, Tennessee 14Stats
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