Game: Ole Miss 39, Vanderbilt 35. The Commodores seemingly had pulled out a miraculous comeback win when they converted on a fourth-and-18 play, then scored on QB Austyn Carta-Samuels
' 34-yard touchdown pass to a wide open TE Steven Scheu
with just 1:09 left. But seconds later, the defense gave up a 75-yard touchdown run to the Rebels' Jeff Scott. The loss snapped Vandy's winning streak at seven games dating back to the second half of last season.
Takeaway: Coach James Franklin cited mistakes (two turnovers, five penalties) and the inability to stop Ole Miss on third down (the Rebels converted six of 14 opportunities and were 2-for-2 on fourth down) as key factors in the loss. The Commodores showed their toughness by digging out of an early 10-0 hole, but couldn't sustain the momentum.
They have an opportunity to bounce back with a home game against Austin Peay next, but then must go for the road for another early conference game at South Carolina.
-- Senior WR Jordan Matthews
may have been downcast when Vandy's last pass slipped through his fingers and was intercepted, effectively ending the game, but he played a huge part in getting the Commodores in position for the win with 10 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, he took a hard hit after a reception and was vomiting on the field before going to the sideline, but he returned and made a huge catch for a 42-yard gain on a fourth-and-18 situation to keep alive Vandy's final touchdown drive.
-- Senior QB Austyn Carta-Samuels became the first Vandy quarterback to throw for 300 yards in a game since 2006, when Chris Nickson passed for 446 yards against Kentucky. Carta-Samuels was 21 of 36 passing to hit the 300 mark right on the nose. He had two touchdown passes, one a career-long of 55 yards to Matthews.
Next: Vs. Austin Peay, Sept. 7.
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