Sunday, January 24, 2021

COLUMN: The Rivalry Between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt

By John Macon Gillespie

This weekend, Ole Miss travels to Nashville for a Halloween date with the Vanderbilt Commodores.

This will be the 95th meeting all-time between the Rebels and ‘Dores, with Ole Miss leading the series 50-40-2. This will only be the second time Ole Miss and Vandy have met on Halloween with the first coming in 1925. Vanderbilt won that meeting 7-0. In fact, this series opened with 19-straight Vanderbilt wins spanning from 1894-1938.

Both Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are founding members of the Southeastern Conference and became each other’s permanent cross-divisional opponent in 1992 when the conference expanded to 12 teams.

The last time Ole Miss visited Nashville, the Rebels fell in overtime to the Commodores 36-29 after a controversial no-catch call against A.J. Brown that would have likely tied the game. Last season, however, Ole Miss routed Vanderbilt behind 165 rushing yards by John Rhys Plumlee and a rushing touchdown from four different Rebels. Overall, Ole Miss accumulated 413 yards on the ground in the win.

This season, Ole Miss is sitting at 1-4 and Vanderbilt at 0-3. The Commodores haven’t played a game since Oct. 10, a 41-7 loss to South Carolina, due to issues surrounding COVID-19. In its three games this season, quarterback Ken Seals leads the team with 411 passing yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. The Commodores also have two backs who have eclipsed the century mark on the ground this season: Ja’Veon Marlow and Jamauri Wakefield.

Kickoff between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt is slated for 3 p.m. on SEC Network.