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It may be the first week of the college football season, but this game could prove vital for both teams in their respective campaigns. Both are slated to be middle of the pack in the SEC this year, just in different divisions. Vanderbilt garnered nine wins last year -- two more than Ole Miss -- but they will be led by a quarterback that hasn't seen significant playing time since 2010. The Rebels are -3.5 favorites at 5dimes at the time of this writing.
In last year's meeting, Vandy grabbed a one-point road win on the shoulders of Jordan Rodgers (279 yards, two TDs) and hands of Jordan Matthews (153 receiving yards, one TD). On the other end, the Commodores had plenty of problems containing the Rebels quarterback as Bo Wallace threw for 403 yards, but only one TD. The QB spot will likely determine the result of this year's game, as well.
Wallace returns at QB for Ole Miss and is still only a junior. Expect him to have another solid game, even on the road. He's joined by plenty of returnees in running back Jeff Scott and wide receivers Donte Moncrief and Vince Sanders. The good news for Vandy is that most of their studs from last year's defense returns after allowing just 18.7 points per game. The Commodores will definitely need to hold Wallace under 400 yards if they want to win this game.
On the other side, Austyn Carta-Samuels, a transfer from Wyoming, will man the team at quarterback. He's joined by WR Matthews who will likely be one of the first receivers taken off the board in next year's NFL draft. Matthews finished with 94 catches for 1,323 yards and eight TDs last season. The problem for the receiving game early in the season will be with their other starting receiver Chris Boyd, who is suspended indefinitely. He had 50 grabs last year and five TDs. Throw that in with Zac Stacy gone from the backfield and this offense will likely find some trouble scoring points against the Rebels.
The winner of this game will likely finish with the better record by the end of the season. As for the loser, they will be facing an uphill battle all year long in the daunting SEC.
Both teams have been pretty successful against the spread in recent years. The Rebels are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. The Commodores have similar numbers going 6-0 ATS in their last six overall and 12-3 ATS in their last 15 home games. In this meeting, it's been a little different as Ole Miss has not done well going 2-10 ATS in their last 12 matchups. The under has also hit six times in the last seven meetings.
Can Bo Wallace and an experienced offense get out to a hot start and put points on Vandy early in the game? If not, this game will likely be very similar to last year's score line.
This is a game we are still considering as a Key Release. So, no official prediction here. You may also be interested to see who all of the top services in the country like in this tilt. Sign up for our Consensus Reports and get all of the plays of the top services for pennies on the dollar.
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