Two weeks of college football. Zero evidence that Vanderbilt's offense can work.
The Commodores got ruined on Saturday, falling 41-3 against rival Ole Miss in a game that, sadly, earned national television honors on ESPN this afternoon.
Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace passed for 320 yards and a touchdown before getting pulled in the third quarter of this blowout. His counterpart, Stephen Rivers, completed just six of his 25 passes for 60 yards and an interception (which was returned for a touchdown) in the loss. Tailback Ralph Webb was the lone bright spot of the Commodore offense. He gained 95 yards on 18 carries to pace an otherwise anemic Vandy team on Saturday.
Mississippi started strong and needed just 4:32 to turn the opening possession into seven points. Wallace completed five of his six pass attempts and Jaylen Walton capped off that drive with a 20-yard run that gave the Rebels a lead they wouldn't relinquish. A pair of Ole Miss drives led to short Andrew Fletcher field goals before Wallace found Cody Core for a 20-yard touchdown that made this one 20-0 in the second quarter and made Vandy fans regret making the three-mile trek from campus to LP Field for the game.
At the break, Mississippi had outgained Vanderbilt 331 yards to 76. And somehow, the contest didn't even seem that close.
Mississippi would reconcile that score with the product on the field by picking off a terrible Rivers pass on the second play of the second half and returning it 39 yards for a touchdown to make it 27-0. I'Tavius Mathers capped off a 79-yard Ole Miss drive one three-and-out later to push the lead to 34-0 and effectively crush Vandy's chances of even covering the spread in their first SEC contest under Derek Mason. The Rebels added seven more one drive later when backup quarterback Ryan Buchanan led his team 68 yards to a DeVante Kincade touchdown run.
Vandy responded, sort of, Rivers brought the 'Dores all the way down to the Ole Miss 1-yard line before stalling out and turning the ball over on downs, but Zach Cunningham forced a Kincade fumble and Mason's team proceeded to march four yards in the wrong direction before kicking a field goal to make this 41-3 and ruin someone's devious prop bet.
The Commodores lost to Ole Miss, the spread, and respectability on Saturday afternoon. Ole Miss got through the entire game without punting, turning the ball over just once on downs to the 'Dores. On the plus side, Vanderbilt only committed one turnover after losing seven against Temple last week. They'll return to the field next week when they take on 0-2 Massachusetts. UMass just ran Colorado out to an embattled 41-38 win, so this matchup against the Minutemen may have just shifted from an automatic win to an all-out battle at Dudley Field on Saturday.