Despite the University of Mississippi’s explosive offense being what tends to come to mind when people think of Lane Kiffin’s squad, it was the Rebel defense that stepped up in the team’s 33-7 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
The defense forced five sacks and two interceptions en route to holding the Commodores to under 230 yards of production. Led by Trey Washington’s first two interceptions of the year, Ole Miss shut down Vanderbilt’s wide receiver corps of Will Sheppard, Jayden McGowan, and London Humphreys as quarterback play remained inconsistent for the Commodores.
Here were the high and low points from Ole Miss’ Homecoming win over Vanderbilt.
High points for Ole Miss
- Running back Quinshon Judkins is beginning to look like his old self again with 124 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The sophomore has now eclipsed the 100-yard mark in three of the last four weeks.
- Wide receiver Dayton Wade had his best showing of the year, catching eight passes for 120 yards. Wade pulled in a touchdown in the first half to extend the Rebels’ early lead.
- As mentioned earlier, Washington was able to pick the quarterback off for the first time in a long time. The safety’s last interception came against Texas Tech during last December’s bowl game.
- Ole Miss defensive linemen J.J. Pegues and Jared Ivey combined for 11 total tackles, four for loss, and three sacks as Vandy’s offensive line had no answers for the two.
Low points for Ole Miss
- Let’s be honest. The low points were minimal in this one. Ole Miss won every statistical category on offense except for time of possession, in which Vanderbilt finished with 33 minutes in comparison to the Rebels’ 27 minutes.
- Jaxson Dart did throw an interception in the second half when he didn’t see Vanderbilt linebacker Langston Patterson.
- At times, the Rebels struggled with the quarterback run after Vanderbilt head coach Clark Lea decided to sub in shifty Walter Taylor (59 rushing yards, one touchdown).
What the coach is saying
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin didn’t have much to say after the game and kept things positive as his team now stands at 7-1 on the year with four games left to play.
“To see our players come out and show good energy, I’m really proud of our defense,” Kiffin said. “I thought our running backs did a great job and our front seven were awesome.”
Other box score notables
Interception aside, Dart added another solid performance to his game log. The junior threw for 240 yards and one touchdown on 19 of 28 passing. He also added a score with his feet. Cedric Johnson led the team with seven total tackles, including a sack, while kicker Caden Davis went perfect on the day with two field goals and three extra points.
Ole Miss will host Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. as the Rebels try to find their third win in a row against the Aggies.