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4 Keys to the Ole Miss Victory over the Commodores

A Rebel rout was once again fueled by the defense.

Call it a “Rebel Rout.”  The Ole Miss Rebels’ decisive victory against the Vanderbilt Commodores, 41-3, was never in any real doubt after halftime. Here are the four keys to the game.
1. Strong Start for the Offense
After a somewhat ineffective start in the Boise State game, the Ole Miss offense came out against Vanderbilt with something to prove.  The first drive from the Rebel offense went on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard Jaylen Walton touchdown run. With this opening drive, the Ole Miss offense set the tone against the Commodores that lasted for the remainder of the game.
“I’m very, very pleased,” said Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze in the post-game press conference, commenting on his offense’s efficiency against Vanderbilt.
Bo was on target the whole game.

2. The Emergence of Cody Core
One major question heading into the season was who was going to be a reliable third target for Bo Wallace to throw to in the receiving core.  That answer throughout two games now is Cody Core.  Core, the 6’3′ 196 lb. junior from Auburn, Alabama had four receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown against the Commodores. This production comes on top of his performance in the Boise State game, where Core caught four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.  Looks like Bo Wallace has found a truly valuable receiver in Cody Core.
3. Running Game Established
After struggling to run the ball against Boise State, the Rebels had to regroup against Vanderbilt, and that’s what they did.  The Rebels rushed for 180 total yards and three touchdowns.  The Rebel rushing attack was led by junior Jaylen Walton, who had eight carries for 35 yards and a touchdown.  Along with Walton, redshirt freshmen Jordan Wilkins, sophomore Mark Dodson, and junior I’tavious Mathers saw action on the field with Mathers also scoring a touchdown.
A better running attack could be the key to a SEC championship,

4. Defensive Domination
It turns out that the stingy, hard-hitting defensive unit that the Rebels showed last week against Boise State was no fluke.  The Ole Miss defense held Vanderbilt to three points, 107 rushing yards and 60 passing yards, while also getting an interception returned for a touchdown by senior cornerback Cliff Coleman.   The Rebel defense also forced the Commodores to have 31 percent efficiency on third down conversions.
Heading into the first home game Sept. 13 against Louisiana-Lafayette, things are lookin’ good for the Rebs.  Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
Story contributed by Ole Miss journalism student Ethan Turner.

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