OXFORD, Miss. – After the game last weekend in Auburn, Ole Miss players and coaches said they wanted to take the momentum they created in a strong second half against the Tigers and build on it in the Rebels’ Homecoming game against Vanderbilt.
Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2 SEC) used an explosive offense to defeat the Commodores (3-4, 0-4) in a 57-35 win Saturday afternoon at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. (Complete box score.)
Vanderbilt has now lost four straight games, with all of them coming in conference play.
Facing a 14-7 deficit following two rushing touchdowns by Vandy tailback Ralph Webb, the Rebels scored 28 unanswered points to take a three-touchdown lead late in the second quarter.
DaMarkus Lodge caught two touchdown passes from Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson, and Patterson and Jordan Wilkins rushed for scores of four and 18 yards, respectively, to give Ole Miss a 35-21 lead at the half.
Patterson passed for 351 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, and his rushing touchdown was the first of his collegiate career.
“It was pretty cool,” Patterson said about his rushing score.
“I was initially going to throw a slip route to our tight end, and I think a guy overplayed it. With my mentality, I’m getting the ball in the end zone. I didn’t know if I was going to hurdle him or run him over.“
Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson on his rushing TD
Patterson’s big day
Patterson had 249 passing yards in the first half to become the lone quarterback in the SEC with over 2,000 passing yards.
The sophomore finished his big day completing 22 of 35 passes for 351 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Patterson’s other two touchdowns went to A.J. Brown, who had 174 receiving yards on eight receptions. Patterson hit Brown early, with 6:54 on the clock in the first quarter, on a 58-yard pass that gave the Rebels a 7-0 early lead.
Shurmur pressured by Landsharks
Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who was pressured all day by the Rebels, connected with receiver Kalija Lipscomb for the 13-yard touchdown with 37 seconds left in the second quarter to bring the Commodores to within 35-21.
Shurmur was sacked five times in the first half and seven, overall, on the day for a loss of 54 total yards. Marquis Haynes recorded three sacks, DeMarquis Gates notched two, Josiah Coatney tallied one and Austrian Robinson and Ryder Anderson each had 0.5.
Haynes broke the school-record for most sacks (13) and, to add to his productive day, also forced a fumble.
With 3:20 left in the second quarter, Shurmur was picked off by Javien Hamilton at the Commodores’ 41. Hamilton returned it 11 yards to Vanderbilt’s 30 to give Ole Miss good field position that setup Patterson’s second touchdown pass to Lodge.
On the day, Shurmur completed 13 of 29 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vanderbilt quarterback was hit hard in the fourth quarter by Ole Miss linebacker Donta Evans and was shaken up. He left the game, and Deuce Wallace replaced him.
Wallace competed 5 of 8 passes for 55 yards and one touchdown, while Webb rushed for 163 yards on 23 carries.
Wilkins hits the century mark for the second time this season
Saturday marked Jordan Wilkins’ second 100-yard rushing game of the season as the Rebels’ running back finished with 113 yards on 18 carries for a 6.3 average yards per carry.
Wilkins notched 101 yards on 12 carries against Alabama.
After the game, A.J. Brown was asked what it means to the Rebels’ offense to have have the ground game going. “It’s always good when you can run the ball,” he said. “That opens up a lot of things.”
A scare at the Vaught
All of Vaught-Hemingway held its collective breath when Patterson scrambled outside of the pocket and took off running towards Vanderbilt’s sideline. Once he stepped out of bounds, he was hit in the back of his left leg by Commodores’ junior defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo. After the hit, Patterson was seen kneeling and was a bit slow to get up.
Fortunately, Patterson got up and walked back to the huddle on his own accord. Two plays later, the sophomore quarterback connected with Lodge for the 6-yard score that would give Ole miss the 35-14 lead.
Odeyingbo was called for the personal foul.
Two Rebels out of action
Defensive end Qaadir Sheppard and kicker Gary Wunderlich did not play Saturday. Wunderlich is still hampered by a hamstring injury, while Sheppard has been dealing with an ankle injury. Luke mentioned after last Wednesday’s practice that surgery might be a possibility for Sheppard.
Ole Miss hosts LSU on Saturday, October 21 at 6:15 p.m. (CT). The Tigers upset No. 10 Auburn on Saturday, 27-23, thanks, in part, to Connor Culp’s field goals of 42 and 36 yards.
Vanderbilt travels to South Carolina to face a Gamecocks team that is riding a two-game winning streak with wins over Arkansas and Tennessee.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)