Rapid Reaction: Ole Miss devours Vanderbilt 57-35
Maybe the SEC West’s bottom half is just significantly better than the SEC East’s bottom half.
Ole Miss hammered Vanderbilt 57-35 on Saturday in front of a homecoming crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.
Vanderbilt led the game for about a quarter and a half. But once the Rebels took control in the second stanza, they never really looked back.
Here are a few takeaways from Saturday’s game:
No surprise: Shea Patterson is still phenomenal
Patterson is clearly the leader of the Ole Miss offense. He’s already racked up a ton of outstanding performances against bad defenses in his Ole Miss career, but Saturday he seemed even more impressive. Patterson completed 22 of his 35 pass attempts with 351 yards and four touchdown passes. The Ole Miss offense, as a whole, was unstoppable on Saturday with 603 total yards.
Rebels still looking for answers on defense
For the Rebels to take the next step and be taken seriously in the western division, they have to find some answers on defense. The offense can outscore most lower-tier SEC teams. If Ole Miss could accompany that with a good defense, it could be a threat in the conference. The Rebels allowed 417 yards to Vanderbilt, which isn’t unreasonably awful. But the Commodores were able to put up five touchdowns — something they haven’t done since Week 2 against FCS-level Alabama A&M. Ole Miss needs to quit letting up so many points.
One key stat on defense
Ole Miss’ pass rushers were able to pin their ears back and have a field day on Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur, who ended up with -59 rushing yards. That stunningly-negative total came because the Rebels were able to rack up six sacks against inadequate pass protection from the Commodores’ offensive line. Vanderbilt leads the SEC at a half sack allowed per game, according to Daily Journal sports reporter Parrish Alford.
Six sacks for #OleMiss today. Vanderbilt leads the SEC at a half sack allowed per game.
— Parrish Alford (@parrishalford) October 14, 2017
Five of the Ole Miss sacks came in the first half:
ICYMI | The defense had 5 sacks in the first half, the most in a single game in the past 2 years ‼️ pic.twitter.com/aITMzQ993i
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 14, 2017
(Also, congrats if you had the over in this game).