OXFORD, Miss. — As Ole Miss prepares to take on Vanderbilt in Nashville this weekend, head coach Matt Luke and the Rebels took to the practice fields on a near-freezing cold Tuesday to get ready for the Commodores.
Lest anyone should wonder how the team would respond following a tough loss at A&M last Saturday—don’t worry. The enthusiasm level at practice was high, with all the players and coaches appearing exuberant and ready to work.
- Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu is still feeling the effects from an injury suffered against South Carolina. The coaches are confident, however, he will play against Vandy.
- Cornerback Keidron Smith practiced Tuesday, after sustaining a shoulder stinger against the Aggies last Saturday. He should be ready to play against the Commodores.
- Running back Scottie Phillips injured his ankle early in the game against A&M and did not return. He is listed as “day-to-day” for the Vanderbilt game, and Ole Miss making arrangements in case he is unable to play. Isaiah Woullard will get the start if Scottie is not able to play, while Eric Swinney and Armani Linton (moved back from defense) will back up Isaiah.
- Wide receiver Braylon Sanders is also day-to-day, but the coaches do expect him to be ready to play against the Commodores.
- Tight end Dawson Knox is not injured; however, he will not be eligible to play the first half against Vanderbilt following a targeting call in the second half of the game against A&M. He will be allowed to play in the second half.
News and Notes
As focus shifts to the Commodores for this week’s game, here are a few items to note regarding the squad out of Nashville. Head coach Derek Mason’s Vandy team enters the contest sitting at 8th in the conference in total offense, with just over 390 yards per game. Most of the attack comes through the air, but they are a fairly balanced team as they average 232.4 passing yards per game and 159.5 rushing yards per game.
Defensively, Vandy allows nearly 421 yards of offense per game—which should spark confidence in an Ole Miss offense that is coming off yet another statistically solid outing against A&M.
Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo made it clear the Rebels would have the running back room ready to go in case Scottie Phillips is unable to play. In addition to Isaiah Woullard and Eric Swinney, junior Armani Linton took snaps with the first team offense Tuesday and received handoffs from both Matt Corral and Jordan Ta’amu.
Woullard spoke after practice Tuesday (below):
(Video of Isaiah Woullard via Archie Breland, The Rebel Walk)
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (CT), and the game will be televised on the SEC Network. Vanderbilt opened as a 2.5-point favorite and the line has moved to 3 points as of Wednesday afternoon.