(Saturday, October 3rd)
Final Score: (21) Ole Miss 23, Vanderbilt 7
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Jevan Snead completed 19-of-34 passes for 237 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions to lead 21st-ranked Ole Miss over Vanderbilt, 23-7, in a battle between these SEC foes.
Shay Hodge hauled in eight passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns for the Rebels (3-1, 1-1 SEC), who were coming off a painful 16-10 defeat to South Carolina last week. Brandon Bolden rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries and also caught a TD pass for the victors.
"There is nothing like a celebrating locker room after a big win. Our team prepared well this week and they worked hard for this win. Last weekend at South Carolina was very disappointing for us so we had to pull it back together. We needed this win tonight in the worst way. It's always difficult whenever Ole Miss plays Vanderbilt because it's always a tough and close ballgame between the two schools," Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said.
Larry Smith connected on 10-of-27 passes for 69 yards, a TD, and a pick for the Commodores (2-3, 0-3), who were coming off a 36-17 win over Rice last week. Udom Umoh caught three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown. Warren Norman rushed for 86 yards on 14 carries in defeat.
"I don't know the last game that had so many penalties and errors committed by us. It was disheartening for the team and our fans. We have a lot of work to do and figure out some of the good things we did in the game and improve on it. We have to eliminate errors starting tomorrow," Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson said.
The Rebels took the early edge as they settled for a field goal on the first possession of the game. Joshua Shene's 20-yard field goal capped off the drive for a 3-0 lead.
After a series of punts, Jamie Graham intercepted a Snead pass at the Vandy 21. The Commodores, though, couldn't do much on offense and were forced to punt. Ole Miss bridged the first and second quarters with a 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Snead hit Hodge with a two-yard TD pass to give the Rebels a 10-0 margin with 10:18 to play until halftime.
Vanderbilt marched into Ole Miss territory on its ensuing possession, but Ryan Fowler missed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide left. The Rebels offense capitalized, putting together an eight-play, 71-yard drive that was topped off by a 12-yard Bolden TD reception for a 17-0 lead with under three minutes left in the half.
Ole Miss held onto a comfortable 17-0 margin heading into the locker room as Fowler missed a 37-yard attempt wide left in the final minute of the second stanza.
The Rebels picked up where they left off in the first half, scoring a TD on their first drive of the third quarter. Snead connected with Hodge on a seven- yard touchdown pass to end a seven-play, 63-yard drive, which was highlighted by a Cordera Eason 23-yard reception. The blocked extra point made it 23-0 with about 11 minutes remaining in the third.
Vandy finally got on the board with less than six minutes to go in the third. Smith hit Umoh with a seven-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 23-7.
The Commodores were set up at the Ole Miss six-yard-line thanks to a 47-yard run by Norman in the early stages of the fourth. On a 3rd-and-goal, Smith's pass was intercepted by Marcus Temple and returned 36 yards.
Ole Miss outgained Vandy 397-240...The Rebels controlled the ball for over 35 minutes...Vanderbilt travels to Army next Saturday, while Ole Miss welcomes SEC foe Alabama.
10/03 23:52:55 ET