The No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels head to Vanderbilt for their second game on the road this season. The Vanderbilt Commodores will be looking to make the most of their home-field advantage after coming off a rough loss of 55-3 to Alabama. However, the Rebels are currently undefeated 5-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play for the season, which is going to present a challenging game for the Commodores (3-2,0-1).
Keys for the Rebels
The Rebels strong defensive play against No. 7 Kentucky last week allowed them to secure the win late in the game. The rebels recovered two of Kentucky’s fumbles allowing them to edge a 22-19 victory over the Wildcats. Saturday proved how much more aggressive the Rebels defense has become. Rebels head coach, Lane Kiffin, says that he isn’t surprised by how well the Rebels have been playing together on defense this season after setting a good foundation at last year’s bowl game. Kiffin says they are hoping to continue to improve on defense towards the later half of the season when they’ve had more experience playing together.
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 4, 2022
“It wasn’t a surprise, but wasn’t a given they’d play this well,” Kiffin said.
Last week’s game was both a physical and emotional one for the Rebels. Their focus going into this week’s game will be to block out the outside noise and just focus on practicing and playing well.
Freshman running back Quinshon Judkins has been the star of the show for the Rebels, scoring a touchdown in four of their five previous games. Judkins leads all Freshmen in the country in rushing (535), averaging 107.0 rushing yards per game. Kiffin says that Judkins is a tough kid and has impressed him, despite being recruited as a three star running back.
Keys for the Commodores
The Vanderbilt Freshmen AJ Swann has also taken over as the starting Quarterback this season. Swann is one of six players in their first season to make 50 pass attempts this year. He has also thrown six touchdown passes, and is the only player in that group without an interception.
Vanderbilt head coach Clark Lea says that his team are excited for the challenge after being able to rejuvenate both mentally and physically after coming off the bye week.