Previewing Vanderbilt home game against Ole Miss on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
Vanderbilt trails Ole Miss in the all-time series 39-51-2, but the Commodores took the last matchup in Nashville, a 38-17 win in 2016.
Names to Watch (Ole Miss):
QB Jordan Ta'amu
Ta'amu is the SEC leader in passing yards (3,374) and passing yards per game (337.4) and ranks fifth in the country with 14.93 yards per completion. Ta'amu has passed for at least 300 yards in his last five games.
WR A.J Brown
One of the most productive pass-catchers in the SEC, Brown has amassed 1,047 yards and 72 catches with five touchdowns this season. He became Ole Miss' all-time leading receiver (2,711 yards) last week versus Texas A&M and is the only receiver in program history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons.
LB Mohamed Sanogo
Sanogo, a sophomore, matched his career-high with 16 tackles in last week's loss to Texas A&M. The 6-2, 224-pound linebacker is the Rebels' leading tackler with 92 total stops and ranks fifth among SEC defenders in that same category.
Ole Miss' yards per play average on offense. The Rebels rank fifth in the country in total offense (535.9) and yards per play (7.4) entering Saturday's game against Vanderbilt.
Rushing yards by Vanderbilt's Ke'Shawn Vaughn
in his last two games. Vaughn scampered for 172 yards against Arkansas on Oct. 27 and a career-high 182 yards against Missouri last Saturday. His 182 yards versus the Tigers are the most ever by a Vanderbilt player against an SEC opponent, and his 354 yards in two straight games are the most by a Dore in consecutive games since 1978.
Points off turnovers by Vanderbilt last week against Missouri. The Commodores won the turnovers battle, 2-0, on a pair of interceptions, but they couldn't convert either takeaway into points in a 33-28 loss in Columbia.
The Big Question:
Can Vanderbilt slow down Ole Miss' offense? The Rebels rank top-five in the SEC in nearly every offensive category, including total offense, passing offense, scoring offense and red-zone efficiency. Can the Dores' defense bounce back from the Missouri loss and stand tall against Ole Miss at home?
Vanderbilt Needs To:
Stop the run. Missouri ran for 253 yards on 49 carries in its win over Vanderbilt. That opened up the Tigers' passing attack with quarterback Drew Lock. The Commodores must make Ole Miss one-dimensional, forcing Ta'amu into third-and-long situations and, ideally, costly mistakes. If the Rebels' run game keeps their offense on the field, it could be a long day for the Dores.
Did You Know?
In just one season at Vanderbilt, Vaughn already lays claim to two of the program's top four individual rushing totals against SEC opponents: 182 yards versus Missouri (No. 1) and 172 against Arkansas (No. 4).
He Said It:
"There can't be lapses in ballgames. Mistakes are common in football, but the inconsistency part has to be cleaned up. Let's make it disappear." –Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.