GAMEDAY PREVEW: Ole Miss Vs. Vanderbilt

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Nov. 10, 2012

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TV: ESPNU | Ole Miss Radio Network (Sirius 136)

OXFORD, Miss. – Seeking just one more win this season to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2009, the Ole Miss Rebels (5-4, 2-3 SEC) will take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (5-4, 3-3 SEC) today, with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

The Rebels come off of a loss in Athens to the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs, but hope to rebound against the Commodores, who come off of a 40-0 blowout of Kentucky in Lexington.

“I expected to watch the film and be able to say some kids didn’t play very hard,” said Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze.  “Watching it, particularly from the defensive side, our kids played extremely hard throughout the game.  Georgia had 76 plays, eight of the 76 accounted for 278 yards.”

With the Rebels so close to a postseason berth, many of the leaders will have to step up against Vanderbilt.  One of which includes redshirt-freshman Denzel Nkemdiche, who leads Ole Miss with 60 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and four forced fumbles.

On the other side of the ball sophomore Bo Wallace and junior Jeff Scott continue to lead an efficient attack.  The Rebels currently rank tied for fourth nationally in red zone efficiency, second in the SEC, and are the only SEC team without a turnover in the red zone, connecting on 17 of 17 attempts in conference play.

The Commodores come to Oxford with a powerful running attack led by Zac Stacy, who averages 83.6 rushing yards per game, with six touchdowns.  The Commodore defense comes in ranked third nationally in passing defense, allowing only 151 yards per game, trailing only Michigan and LSU.

“They rank very high in all of the defensive stats,” said Freeze.  “Coach (James) Franklin and his staff have done a marvelous job.  His kids play extremely hard.  They know exactly who they are and who they want to be.”

This marks the 87th meeting between the two teams with Ole Miss leading the series 47-37-2 dating back to 1894.  The Vanderbilt at Ole Miss game is the fourth most competitive series in the SEC since 2000, with an average winning margin of only 11 points per game.

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