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Three Plays That Changed the Game: Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss

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If we were going based on which play actually "changed: the game the most, it would be this one.
If we were going based on which play actually "changed: the game the most, it would be this one.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

So... it's tough to say that any plays "changed the game" when the final score was 41-3. Keep that in mind while reading this week's installment.

1. Cliff Coleman's pick six

The Situation: Vandy had just begun the second half down 20-0 with the ball and a chance to make things interesting. On their second play from scrimmage in the half on second and six, Stephen Rivers lined up under center with two receivers wide right. Ole Miss was lined up in the 4-2-5 with Tony Conner playing as essentially an outside linebacker. Cliff Coleman was lined up giving a huge cushion to his receiver.

What Happened: At the snap, the outside receiver ran an in, while the slot receiver ran something deep to clear room. Coleman stayed in his zone instead of letting the receiver clear him out. When Rivers threw the ball to the receiver who was running the in, he couldn't hit him in stride, leaving it behind him. Because of this, Coleman was able to just grasp the ball before it hit the ground and then run it in for a demoralizing score that cemented things.

Here's a video you can watch. I'm not embedding because ESPN has auto-play on embedded videos, and none of you have done anything to harm my family (that I know of).

2. Kendarius Webster's touchdown-saving tackle at the OM 2 yard line

The Situation: Vanderbilt had entered the fourth quarter down 41-0. The coaches were looking for something on which to hang their collective and proverbial hats, and the Ole Miss defense did not want to give them that at the moment. The Rebels had their second string defense in, but they weren't ready to just give in. To give you an idea of the defensive players who were in the game at the moment, let me name the Ole Miss players who got tackles on the drive leading up to this play: CJ Hampton, Kendarius Webster, AJ Moore,  Anthony Alford, Lavon Hooks, Serderius Bryant, and Bryon Bennett. That's not a bad group, but there's only one starter in that group. Because of this, Ole miss had allowed Vanderbilt to march from their own 17 all the way to the Ole Miss six yard line. It was third and goal.

What Happened: At the snap, Rivers rolled right and found his fullback Kellen Williams in the flat. Williams looked like he was going to pound his 6'1" 230 pound frame into the end zone, as the only Ole Miss player with a chance was true freshman corner Kendarius Webster, playing in just his second game. Ole Miss' official roster lists Webster at 5'11" 170. All Ole Miss fans were imagining he would hit Williams but be carried into the end zone. That isn't what happened. Webster stood Williams up at the one and drove him out of bounds, not allowing him to gain an extra yard. On the forth down attempt, Senquez Golson broke up the pass in the end zone. The Rebels had the ball (and would unfortunately lose it via fumble on the next play). For me, this was a game changer because it was nice to see such a big play by a true freshman.

3. I'Tavius Mathers' I-Form touchdown run

The Situation: After the pick six, the Ole Miss defense made Vanderbilt go three and out. On the ensuing Ole Miss possession, they moved the ball down the field quickly, using two big passes to Evan Engram as well as a few other plays. With second and two at the Vandy 11, Bo Wallace lined up under center (shockingly), took the snap, and tossed it to I'Tavius Mathers who ran behind several tight ends for a nine yard gain. The Rebels were lined up the same way on the next play from the 2. There were three tight ends lined up to the right side of the line.

What happened: The toss went to the right, and Mathers walked into the end zone untouched.

The reason I put that in is because I know a lot of people have been clamoring for the installation of a few I-formation runs. Congratulations. You got two. Maybe the coaches are working on some more.