The tone of the Vanderbilt Commodores’ Saturday night game against the Ole Miss Rebels was set early when, on the second play of the game, the Rebels’ John Rhys Plumlee broke free for a 54-yard run. Vanderbilt was able to hold Ole Miss to a field goal after that, but after a quick three-and-out, Plumlee got free for a 33-yard touchdown run on the Rebels’ next series to give Ole Miss a 10-0 lead with 9:15 to go in the first quarter.
That Vanderbilt held Ole Miss out of the end zone for the remainder of the first half, and went into halftime down just 10-6 with two Ryley Guay field goals providing the Commodores’ scoring, was something of a miracle: Vanderbilt stopped Ole Miss on fourth down twice in Commodore territory, and so long as Ole Miss wasn’t breaking off big running plays, the Rebels couldn’t seem to find the end zone.
But then the dam broke again in the second half. On the Rebels’ second play of their first drive of the half (after a Vanderbilt punt), Jerrion Ealy broke a 78-yard touchdown run that might have been stuffed at the line of scrimmage if not for a missed tackle. Another Vanderbilt punt was followed by another big run by Ole Miss — this one, an 84-yard touchdown run on 3rd and 2 by Snoop Conner. Scotty Phillips would score one final time on a 24-yard run with four and a half minutes left in the game, making the final score 31-6 in the Rebels’ favor.
Vanderbilt finished the game with just 264 yards of total offense, 62 on the ground. Ole Miss rushed for 415 yards — and it didn’t matter that the Rebels only managed 99 through the air. Vanderbilt is now 1-4, 0-3 in the SEC, and plays UNLV next Saturday.