Anchor d'oh! 75-yard run with 1:07 left gives Ole Miss 39-35 win at Vandy

Mississippi running back Jeff Scott (3) avoids a tackle attempt by Vanderbilt defensive back Andre Hal (23) as Scott scores a touchdown on a 75-yard run with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter to give Mississippi a 39-35 win in an NCAA college football game on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mississippi running back Jeff Scott (3) avoids a tackle attempt by Vanderbilt defensive back Andre Hal (23) as Scott scores a touchdown on a 75-yard run with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter to give Mississippi a 39-35 win in an NCAA college football game on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Mississippi Rebels found the Vanderbilt Commodores' weakness by running around and through them. The last time an opponent gashed them this much, it ended the same way.

A Commodores' loss.

Vanderbilt snapped the Southeastern Conference's longest active winning streak at seven games Thursday night in a 39-35 loss to Mississippi in the season opener for both teams. The Commodores hadn't lost since a 31-17 defeat to Florida on Oct. 13 when they also gave up lots of yards on the ground.

Ole Miss scored all five touchdowns on the ground, none bigger than Jeff Scott's 75-yard dash for the game-winning TD with 1:07 left just two plays after Vanderbilt jumped ahead.

Senior defensive end Walker May said the Commodores should have made a play on Scott's TD.

"That one is going to haunt me because I could have done more," May said.

Scott said he thought of going out of bounds as he rounded the corner only to decide to keep running.

"I got to make something happen," Scott said. "I think I surprised them."

The Rebels used a similar game plan to bring down Vanderbilt, which had won three straight in the series and six of eight. Ole Miss scored 29 points in the second half and rushed for 206 yards for the game. Both were the most Vanderbilt has allowed since giving up 20 second-half points and 326 yards rushing to Florida.

Florida gashed Vanderbilt with a running quarterback in Jeff Driskel. Likewise, Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace proved to be a handful when he carried 18 times for 48 yards and two TDs.

Scott's TD capped a wild finish for a game that saw four lead changes. Vanderbilt went up 35-32 on a 34-yard TD pass from Austyn Carta-Samuels to Steven Scheu with 1:30 left. But Scott beat the Commodores for a TD and the fourth lead change.

"We stole one tonight," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. "We didn't necessarily play that well, particularly defensively in the second half. But one of the staples of our program since I've been here is that you play for 60 minutes and you do not blink and you play until the whistle blows at the end of the game."

Vanderbilt had a final chance before its first sellout crowd in a home season opener since 1996 against Notre Dame. But Cody Prewitt intercepted a pass off Jordan Matthews' hands with 26 seconds left. That allowed the Rebels to snap a three-game skid to Vanderbilt, the last a painful 27-26 loss in Oxford last year.

"The game is never won, just like it was never won last year when we were down at their place and came back and won," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. "They did the same thing to us. We got a taste of our own medicine."

Scott beat a defensive lineman to the edge, then outraced the Commodores to the end zone. Andre Hal had one last chance to trip him up at the 20 but couldn't bring Scott down. Scott finished with 138 yards on 12 carries.

Vanderbilt had set its defense for a pass.

"They blocked us in space and (Scott) is fast," Franklin said.

Wallace tied his career-high, completing 31 passes out of 47 for 283 yards, and he also ran 18 times for 48 yards on plays that helped set up Scott's TD run. Backup quarterback Barry Brunetti ran for two TDs, and Ole Miss used its spread, hurry-up offense to out-gain Vanderbilt 489-426.

Carta-Samuels threw for 300, and Matthews finished with 10 catches for 178 yards. Junior Kyle Woestmann had two of Vanderbilt's four sacks by halftime, but the Commodores didn't get to Wallace in the second half.

Ole Miss took advantage of the Commodores' early mistakes and led 10-0. Vanderbilt answered with 21 straight points.

The finish overshadowed a gutsy performance by Matthews. He went into the locker room for intravenous fluids early in the third quarter, and he took a hard hit from Prewitt on a catch late in the game. But Matthews caught a 42-yard pass on fourth-and-18 to set up Scheu's TD, giving Vandy its last lead.

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Comments » 14

Orange_Power_T writes:

All rivalry aside, it was a great game to watch. What I found interesting was that Ole Miss and UNC showed everyone how to beat Vandy and SC. Vandy can't stop a pounding ground attack and SC's defense can't counter a hurry up offense.

not_guilty writes:

I am amused by Vanderbilt's having adopted "Anchor Down" as their motto. When the anchor is down, the ship goes nowhere.

BrassMonkey writes:

If it were not for Vanderbilt in 2012 we might still be stuck with Dooley. Thank God for Vanderbilt.

Oldhickory writes:

Too bad they lost, because having a strong Vanderbilt team only helps football in the state of Tennessee. Additionally, a Vandy team with a good record in the SEC will only enhance THE University of Tennessee's victory over them on November 23rd in Neyland Stadium. GBO.

fannotsheep writes:

I was impressed with the coaches on both sidelines. Hope the one we got is ready for the SEC challenge.

When you consider what Franklin has done (make Vanderbilt competitive) in such a short time at a school that's been horrible for decades, well that's the blueprint for turning around a struggling program.

h8FLORIDA writes:

in response to not_guilty:

I am amused by Vanderbilt's having adopted "Anchor Down" as their motto. When the anchor is down, the ship goes nowhere.

Love that one!

Snapshot writes:

Loved the headline! It was a good game to watch, I'm just glad the commoddores ship got torpedoed.

underthehill writes:

in response to Oldhickory:

Too bad they lost, because having a strong Vanderbilt team only helps football in the state of Tennessee. Additionally, a Vandy team with a good record in the SEC will only enhance THE University of Tennessee's victory over them on November 23rd in Neyland Stadium. GBO.

I don't see how Vandy losing this game helps UT..I think only what UT does on the field will help UT..and I could see UT getting good enough by the end of the year to beat Vandy..don't think they could right now..

govols1961 writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

All rivalry aside, it was a great game to watch. What I found interesting was that Ole Miss and UNC showed everyone how to beat Vandy and SC. Vandy can't stop a pounding ground attack and SC's defense can't counter a hurry up offense.

I do not understand. NC only scored 10 points. How does that show us how to beat SC?

abnerPeabody writes:

I miss professionalhandicaper.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to govols1961:

I do not understand. NC only scored 10 points. How does that show us how to beat SC?

NC just didn't have the offense to score....BUT they had SC's defense gasping for air. They can't effectively play against a hurry up offense.

fannotsheep writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

NC just didn't have the offense to score....BUT they had SC's defense gasping for air. They can't effectively play against a hurry up offense.

I think you'll see lots of teams struggle with that, especially in the south in August and September. But the questions I have about the hurry up:

When the Vols had Manning (and later Bray) we had a big play offense but the defense didn't get much rest. Was it a coincidence that it was the year after, with a ball control offense, that we won the championship?

And will defenses be just as tired when your own offense runs the hurry up -- and drives for a score in two minutes or goes three-and-out and punts in 30 seconds -- as they are when the opponent runs it?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to govols1961:

I do not understand. NC only scored 10 points. How does that show us how to beat SC?

UNC had about a 17-play drive, using a no-huddle offense, at the end of which they had to settle for a field goal; if they had gotten the TD instead, that would have tightened up the game considerably. At the end of that drive, USC's defense was almost totally gassed. USC got two TDs on long passes which was not thought to be their strong point. So the game was closer than the score indicated. If there hadn't been a weather delay of more than an hour and half, USC's defense might have totally wilted and UNC's offense might have gone up and down the field on them. So I certainly agree that keeping possession of the ball on long but fast-paced drives might well be the way to beat USC this year, as long as you get TDs after the drives.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

I think you'll see lots of teams struggle with that, especially in the south in August and September. But the questions I have about the hurry up:

When the Vols had Manning (and later Bray) we had a big play offense but the defense didn't get much rest. Was it a coincidence that it was the year after, with a ball control offense, that we won the championship?

And will defenses be just as tired when your own offense runs the hurry up -- and drives for a score in two minutes or goes three-and-out and punts in 30 seconds -- as they are when the opponent runs it?

You raise some interesting points. Any team has to balance what they think they do best on offense with what they think the defense needs from the offense to keep the D from being put in bad situations.

There is a difference between a "fast-break" type offense like UNC and Oregon run and a simple no-huddle offense such as UT has run at times. In the former, you not only forego the huddle to prevent defensive substitutions, you try to run each play as quickly as you can. Oregon, e.g., tries to snap the ball every 12 seconds!

It helps the defense considerably if they have enough depth to keep rotating good players through it. However, the hurry-up offense can surely tire out the guys who are on the field because it makes them stay there.

The UT national champion team had an excellent defense with great depth and not many teams ran a no-huddle offense against them, so they didn't really care if they had to go back on the field after a series of short offensive possessions. By contrast, the combination of a high-risk, quick-strike offense with a thin, weak defense was disastrous for last year's UT team. That team might have benefited from more of a ball-control offense, but that wasn't what they did best on offense.

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