Monday, October 3, 2022

Daniels: This Week’s ‘Rebels Two Deep’ – Vanderbilt

Photo by Joshua McCoy, photographer for Ole Miss Athletics
Photo by Joshua McCoy, photographer for Ole Miss Athletics

The Rebels are coming off of one of the biggest wins in program history where they beat the Crimson Tide 43-37, rising from No. 15 in the country to No. 3. This week they will face the Vanderbilt Commodores. Vanderbilt is coming off a 47-7 win over the Austin Peay Governors.

They have a great decision maker under center in Johnny McCrary and a very underrated running back in Ralph Webb. The Vanderbilt defense is much improved as they are giving up just over 17 points per game against the high-scoring Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Austin Peay Governors. With that being said, here is this weeks “Rebels Two Deep” against Vanderbilt.

Quarterback
1. Chad Kelly
2. DeVante Kincade

Note: If the Rebels can jump out to a big lead over the Commodores, we could see a little bit of DeVante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan. I still believe Kincade has earned the second string quarterback role.

Running Back
1. Jaylen Walton
2. Jordan Wilkins

Note: Like last weekend, I believe that Jaylen Walton will get the start, but we will see a split in the carries between Walton and Jordan Wilkins. This should be yet another building block in confidence for the Ole Miss running game.

Wide Receiver
1. Laquon Treadwell
2. Damore’ea Stringfellow

Note: Laquon Treadwell caught his first touchdown pass of the 2015 season against Alabama. He should have some big plays against Vanderbilt. Stringfellow could have some key playing time to get some momentum.

Wide Receiver
1. Cody Core
2. Derrick Jones

Note: Cody Core was on the receiving end of the read option pass in the second half against Alabama. With the best corners from each team trying to cover Treadwell, Cody Core will continue to be a huge play maker and get looks this year.

Slot Receiver
1. Quincy Adeboyejo
2. Markell Pack

Note: The last time Quincy Adeboyejo was in the Vaught, he caught for over 100 yards and three touchdown passes. Last week, Adeboyejo caught the most memorable, tipped pass for a touchdown. In three games, Adeboyejo has had 10 catches for five touchdowns.

Tight End
1. Evan Engram
2. Jeremy Liggins

Note: Evan Engram has still not had his big moment this season but I think that it has something to do with the arm strength of Chad Kelly compared to Bo Wallace. Kelly has the ability to take vertical shots downfield therefore he utilizes the receivers a bit more. Wallace went for middle to short routes and took a few deep balls therefore he looked Engram’s way a bit more. Liggins will probably get a few of the short yardage package runs against Vanderbilt.

Left Tackle
1. Fahn Cooper
2. Christian Morris

Note: Laremy Tunsil had a positive meeting with the NCAA on Wednesday but he will reportedly miss Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt. Fahn Cooper will get the start against Vanderbilt.

Left Guard
1. Javon Patterson
2. Jordan Sims

Note: The freshman Javon Patterson has played great thus far and I think he will have another good start for the Rebels against Vanderbilt.

Center
1. Robert Conyers
2. Ben Still

Note: Robert Conyers got the start for the Rebels last Saturday against Alabama. He had just one poor snap which turned into an unbelievable play.

Right Guard
1. Rod Taylor
2. Justin Bell

Note: Justin Bell did not practice earlier in the week with an ankle tweak against Alabama. He should be good to go, but no need in rushing him. Rod Taylor will get the start after he was also banged up in the Alabama game.

Right Tackle
1. Sean Rawlings
2. Talbot Buys

Note: Sean Rawlings will get another start as coaches have said that they did not notice problems with him against Alabama.

Defensive End
1. Fadal Brown
2. Channing Ward

Note: Fadal Brown was part of the tremendous defensive line play as he got some good pressure on the quarterbacks. Fadal Brown left the game shortly with some cramp issues in the 90 degree heat at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Defensive Tackle
1. Robert Nkemdiche
2. Breeland Speaks

Note: Robert Nkemdiche had one of his best games yet in a Rebel uniform last Saturday as he put a lot of pressure on Jacob Coker and Cooper Bateman. Nkemdiche had six tackles, two tackles for loss and a half a sack. He dealt with a few cramps, but was a huge force.

Nose Tackle
1. Woodrow Hamilton
2. D.J. Jones

Note: Woodrow Hamilton will continue to get the start at the nose tackle position because the season ending injury to Isaac Gross.

Defensive End
1. Marquis Haynes
2. John Youngblood

Note: It took Marquis Haynes a long time to hit the quarterback against Alabama but when he did he put the nail in the coffin. Haynes delivered a big hit to Jacob Coker with about a minute to go that would cause an off balance pass to be picked off by Tony Bridges.

Outside Linebacker
1. Denzel Nkemdiche
2. DeMarquis Gates

Note: Denzel Nkemdiche was called “The Emotional Energizer Bunny” of this defense on Saturday by Chris Fowler. He had a big game as he led the team in tackles with 10 tackles, one for a loss, and a sack shared with his brother.

Middle Linebacker
1. C.J. Johnson
2. Christian Russell

Note: C.J. Johnson and Christian Russell will both have some shared time, but they will have to be fast as part of the linebacker group by stopping an underrated Ralph Webb and the end around of Darrius Sims.

Nickel
1. A.J. Moore
2. Zedrick Woods

Note: Tony Connor is out for four weeks with an injury so that will leave the nickel position in the hands of A.J. Moore.

Cornerback
1. Kendarius Webster
2. Tee Shepard

Note: I think Kendarius Webster will get the start but we will see both Webster and Tee Shepard as they should be in charge of guarding the redshirt senior Kris Kentera.

Cornerback
1. Tony Bridges
2. Kailo Moore

Note: Tony Bridges will have a tough assignment as he will probably get the best Commodore receiver in Trent Sherfield. The 6’2 receiver caught 16 passes for 240 yards last week for the Commodores against Austin Peay.

Free Safety
1. Trae Elston
2. Chief Brown

Note: Trae Elston has had a pick six in both games inside the Vaught. This Ole Miss secondary will have to force Johnny McCrary into some turnovers.

Rover
1. Mike Hilton
2. C.J. Moore

Note: Ole Miss will be wearing the powder blue helmets again, but this week it’s in remembrance of Chucky Mullins. Mike Hilton, wearing the number 38 on the back of his jersey, should have a meaningful game.

Kicker
1. Gary Wunderlich
2. Andy Pappanastos

Note: Gary Wunderlich is 100 percent on the year as he made three field goals in a hostile environment at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Wunderlich could be counted on to hit a field goal or two against Vanderbilt.

Punter
1. Will Gleeson
2. Gary Wunderlich

Note: Will Gleeson had to punt it five times last week, but shouldn’t have to punt it as much with the electric Ole Miss offense against Vanderbilt.

Kickoff Specialist
1. Nathan Noble
2. Gary Wunderlich

Note: Nathan Noble will just have to keep it out of the hands of the kick returner Darrius Sims and he will play a great game.


Grant DanielsGrant Daniels, a student at Oxford High School, is sports correspondent for HottyToddy.com. Email him at hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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