SEC Digital Network
Nashville, Tenn. – Thursday night marked the first night of the 2013 football season, but Ole Miss and Vanderbilt turned in a game that is already guaranteed to rank amongst the season’s very best. In a high-scoring, twisting-and-turning affair, the Rebels (1-0) managed to pick up a 39-35 victory in Nashville, snapping Vanderbilt’s seven-game win streak in the process.
After a back-and-forth second half which featured the Rebels and Commodores trading haymakers, the Rebs found themselves trailing 35-32 late in the fourth quarter. Not to be denied, senior running back Jeff Scott ripped off a 75-yard scoring run to put Ole Miss ahead with just 1:07 to play in the game.
The Commodores tried to answer one last time, but after an Austyn Carta-Samuels pass deflected off Vandy receiver Jordan Matthews’ fingers and into the hands Ole Miss’ Cody Prewitt, the game was effectively over and the Rebels had claimed their first victory of the 2013 season.
Vanderbilt (0-1), which overcame an early 10-point deficit, took a 21-10 advantage into the half. Things ramped up in the third quarter, however, as a track meet broke out and the teams traded scores repeatedly.
Mississippi opened the second half with a seven-play, 63-yard scoring drive capped by a Barry Brunetti touchdown run. Immediately after, Vandy answered with a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive of its own that ended with a 3-yard TD from Wesley Tate. Not to be outdone, the Rebels came back with a 15-play, 75-yard scoring march on the ensuing possession that quarterback Bo Wallace punctuated with a 3-yard scamper to pay dirt. Wallace then tacked on another rushing score in the fourth to give the Rebels their third consecutive scoring drive.
With Vanderbilt trailing 32-28 in the fourth, Carta-Samuels connected with Steven Scheu for a 34-yard score up the left sideline. That score gave the ’Dores the lead with just 2:54 to play, but Scott’s 75-yard scamper on the following drive swung momentum back to Ole Miss once and for all.
Scott finished the game with a heroic 138 yards on just 12 carries to go along with his all-important touchdown, while Wallace added 48 yards and a score of his own on the ground. True freshman wide-out Laquon Treadwell stepped up to the plate in his first collegiate game, hauling in nine passes for 82 yards to lead all Ole Miss pass-catchers.
Vanderbilt was led by Matthews, who turned in an astounding 10-catch, 178-yard performance that included one touchdown reception. Matthews took a big hit in the fourth quarter and left the game for a moment, but came back in to make a huge 42-yard grab that led the Vandy’s final touchdown.
Both squads went for over 400 yards of total offense on the night, with Ole Miss leading the way with 489, including 206 rushing yards.
Passing – Austyn Carta-Samuels, 21-for-36, 300 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing – Jerron Seymour, 5 car, 43 yards, TD
Receiving – Jordan Matthews, 10 rec, 178 yards, TD
Passing – Bo Wallace, 31-for-47. 283 yards
Rushing – Jeff Scott, 12 car, 138 yards, TD
Receiving – Laquon Treadwell, 9 rec, 82 yards
• Ole Miss has now won 15 of its last 18 season openers.
• The Rebels broke a nine-game losing streak in SEC openers.
• Vanderbilt’s seven-game winning streak entering the night was the fourth-longest in the NCAA.
• The Commodores are now 3-15 historically when facing an SEC team in their first game of the season.
• Ole Miss have never lost a game in the month of August, posting a record of 7-0 in the month dating back to 1991.