SPORTS BLOG — NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A hapless effort on offense is not what the Ole Miss Rebels needed to produce in their first Southeastern Conference game of the season on Saturday afternoon.Five interceptions thrown by quarterback Zack Stoudt, coupled with an inability to move the ball in the running game, doomed the Rebels in a 30-7 loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC opener for both teams. Ole Miss (1-2 overall) only produced 234 total yards on offense, with most of that total coming well after the game had been decided.
The Rebels’ lone touchdown, a 47-yard pass from Stoudt to Donte Moncrief, came with 2:15 left in the fourth quarter. Ole Miss was limited to just 115 yards in the first half, while Stoudt had three interceptions, including one going for a score.
“I’m just disappointed in our execution, especially on offense,” said a stunned Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt after the game. “I thought our defense hung in really well that first half, gave us enough chances and field position to really win the first half and we could never get anything in synch. We could never get anything going offensively. That’s what was frustrating. (We) just looked bad, looked really bad.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Vanderbilt (3-0) took control by scoring 21 points in the second. Vandy quarterback Larry Smith put the Commodores on the board first with a 19-yard run for a TD at the 5:40 mark. An interception from Stoudt on the next Ole Miss possession was returned 52 yards by Trey Wilson for a score to put Vanderbilt up 14-0, while a 9-yard run by Jerron Seymour with 25 seconds left before the half capped the scoring.
Vanderbilt added to its 21-0 lead at the half with a safety on Ole Miss first offensive series of the third quarter and then took a 30-0 lead on a 77-yard run by Zac Stacy with 1:24 left in the third.
For Commodores, the win over Ole Miss was their largest since beating the Rebels 24-0 in 1930.
For more reaction from Ole Miss’ one-sided loss, see Sports in Monday’s paper. (September 17, 2011)