Oct 15, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Jared Collins (29) defends a pass intended for Ole Miss Rebels wide receiver Damore
The Ole Miss receiving corp did not have his best game on Saturday against Vanderbilt. Quarterback Shea Patterson only completed 20 of 42 passes, some of that due to drops by his wide receivers. The drops came on crucial downs and stalled drives for Ole Miss.
Patterson was able to keep plays alive with his feet on numerous occasions but was not able to find open receivers most of the time. There were several players who had injuries during the game including Demorea Stringfellow, Demarkus Lodge, A.J. Brown and Evan Engram.
Oct 15, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Ole Miss Rebels running back Akeem Judd (21) rushes in the second quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Akeem Judd ran the ball well. But he didn’t get enough opportunities. At halftime, Judd had eight carries for 62 yards. He finished the game with 10 carries for 63 yards. There has always been talk that Ole Miss can’t run the football. There is probably some truth to that but in order to run the ball you have to commit to the run.
In the first half, the offense was balanced and the run game was allowing the offense to move the ball down the field. The Vanderbilt defense was playing on their heels and having to respect both the run and the pass.
However, once Ole Miss abandoned the run it became tougher to move the ball.
Nov 14, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur (14) passes against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Vanderbilt came in to the game as one of the worst offenses in the SEC. However, they were able to amass 481 yards against the Ole Miss defense. Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur was able to throw for 273 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back Ralph Webb ran for 123 and three touchdowns. The balance of the Commodore offense was too much for the Ole Miss defense to overcome. Vanderbilt was also able to make explosive plays in both the passing and running game.