Ole Miss trounced Vanderbilt 31-6 on Homecoming.
With uncertainty surrounding the quarterback situation throughout the week, it was true freshman John Rhys Plumlee who made the start. Matt Corral was dressed, but never saw the field.
The Rebels took off running and never stopped.
On the second play from scrimmage, the Plumlee broke a 54-yard run into opponent territory. The drive stalled with three consecutive losses, but it established Rich Rodriguez’s game plan— shove the ball down Vanderbilt’s throat. Ole Miss settled for a field goal, and the lead.
On the proceeding drive, stout run defense forced a Commodore punt from their own end zone, and the Rebel offense took over with great field position.
Three plays later, Plulmee pulled the handoff and kept an option to the corner for a 33-yard score. He made the perfect read and put a little swagger on it.
John Rhys Plumlee with a 33 yard TD run to put Ole Miss up 10-0 on Vandy! pic.twitter.com/TEYSB8xlMw— #BusinessAintBoomin (@ftbeard_17) October 5, 2019
The Commodores tried to force a rhythm offensively and converted consecutive 4th-and-1s to keep their drive alive. Benito Jones was all up in the backfield, and on 4th-and-11, the Rebels called a defensive timeout when the offense lined up to go for it. Vanderbilt punted.
Though just 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, Ole Miss dominated the field with 137 total yards (120 rushing) and out-gained Vanderbilt nearly 7-to-1.
Rodriguez tried to open up Plumlee’s arm in the second quarter, but it wasn’t particularly successful. The true freshman went 6-of-12 for 50 yards, with the longest going for 12 and 13 yards to Elijah Moore.
Meanwhile, the Vanderbilt offense out-gained their counterparts, as the Ole Miss defense struggled with open-field tackling. Despite the overall inability to wrap up in space, the Landsharks stepped up when it matted, and kept the Commodores out of the end zone. Lakia Henry finished with a team-high 15 total tackles, and ate in the second quarter.
The Rebels went to halftime up 10-6.
The second half was a ground explosion, and true freshmen Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner both went buck-wild on the opening two offensive possessions.
Feeling left out late in the fourth quarter, Scottie Phillips got his money!
Plumlee led the Rebels with 165 yards rushing, and the team went for 413.
FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN YARDS RUSHING. SHEESH!
On the other side of the ball, the defense was beat over the top on occasion, but refused to give an inch on the scoreboard.
24 different players recorded a tackle, and Henry, Jacquez Jones, Jaylon Jones, and Austrian Robinson each finished over the five-tackle mark. Benito Jones may not have lit up the stat-sheet, but he tore the Vanderbilt offensive line apart and kept pressure on both quarterbacks all night.
The defense didn’t play a perfect game, and Vanderbilt does not have a good offense, but two field goals and a scoreless second half is just about all you can ask.
All things considered, it was a great night for Ole Miss. The freshman had a field day, the backfield couldn’t be stopped, and the Rebels are .500.
Keep the pace and Ole Miss is bowl eligible. 6-6 or bust!