NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ole Miss scored the first 10 points of the game, but the Rebels couldn’t overcome 31 unanswered points by Vanderbilt, falling 38-17 Saturday night in a Southeastern Conference showdown.
Mackey Award semifinalist Evan Engram recorded his seventh career 100-yard receiving game, hauling in six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. The senior tight end was Shea Patterson’s favorite receiver on the night. In his second career start, the true freshman completed 20 of 42 for 222 with two touchdowns. Senior running back Akeem Judd totaled 97 yards of offense, rushing 10 times for 63 yards and making three receptions for 34 yards.
Ralph Webb ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns for Vanderbilt. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur added 273 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air.
Patterson led the Rebels 75 yards down the field on the opening drive, using his feet as well as his arm. The freshman rushed three times for 19 yards, while completing a pair of passes for 22 yards. Judd contributed on the ground with a pair of carries for 34 yards. However, Vanderbilt limited Ole Miss to a field goal as Gary Wunderlich connected on a 23-yard boot.
Ole Miss increased its lead to double digits after taking advantage of a Vanderbilt miscue. After the Commodores forced a fourth down, Carlos Davis recovered a muffed punt to bring the Rebel offense back onto the field. Ole Miss took advantage of the turnover as Patterson found a wide-open Judd for a 21-yard strike. With 6:51 left in the opening quarter, Ole Miss held a 10-0 advantage.
The Commodores used a 67-yard pass to set up their first score of the game as Webb found the end zone from four yards out. Two drives later, a 5-yard touchdown pass by Shurmur put Vandy on top for the first time in the contest, 14-10. The home team kept Ole Miss scoreless throughout the second quarter, taking the four-point cushion into the locker room.
Getting the ball to start the second half, Vanderbilt marched 90 yards down the field for a touchdown and controlled the entire third quarter. Scoring 17 points and holding the Rebel offense in check, the Commodores built its lead to three touchdowns, 31-10.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Patterson scrambled and launched a deep ball into the end zone. Engram leaped and made an incredible catch for the 38-yard touchdown to slice into the deficit. However, Vandy countered with a touchdown on its own for the final 38-17 tally.
Next Saturday, Ole Miss will wrap up the 2016 regular season hosting Mississippi State in the annual Battle for the Golden Egg. The game is also Senior Day as 27 Rebels will be recognized prior to the start of the rivalry contest. Kickoff from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on SEC Network.