Vanderbilt hosts Ole Miss on Saturday in Nashville. Here are your three keys to a Vandy victory.
By Don Yates
1. Stop Corral-Moore hookup
Ole Miss’ Matt Corral to Elijah Moore tandem is one of the top quarterback-wide receiver combinations in the nation. Corral is a quarterback who has flourished under the Lane Kiffin system. So far this season Corral has completed 103 of 153 passes for 1,434 yards and 12 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Moore has done well also. Moore is fifth in the nation in receptions per game (9.4) and sixth in the NCAA in receiving yards (591). The one vulnerable area for this matchup is in interceptions. Corral has thrown nine of those. Vandy needs to play better against the pass this weekend. With more starters back after the COVID shutdown, it should help the defense keep scoring to a minimum and hopefully limit Corral and Moore’s success.
2. Seals improves
Ken Seals is the best quarterback Vanderbilt has at this point. So far this season, Seals has completed 48 of 78 passes for 411 yards 3 touchdowns and four interceptions, which is not bad for a true freshman. However, if Vanderbilt is to beat Ole Miss, they need for Seals to be better. He has to learn to get rid of the ball if he’s about to be sacked. He’s got to react more quickly when a receiver is open and get the ball to that receiver. Seals has a great future ahead of him. Vandy needs improved play on Saturday to defeat Ole Miss.
3. Special teams get special
Vanderbilt’s special teams have been pretty sub-par so far this season. Especially in field goal kicking where the Commodores have made just one of four field goals. Meanwhile, opponents have made five of six kicks. It’s pretty deflating when a team drives down the field, gets in a good position to get a field goal and then the kicker misses. That’s happened way too often this season for the Commodores. Two of those misses were from the 22 and 29 yards. To make matter worse, one of the only bright spots on the team, punter Harrison Smith, is not listed on the depth chart for Vandy this week. The Commodores must have excellent special teams play to have a chance to win.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.