There’s a lot of excitement from Ole Miss fans about their football team and rightfully so, but the buzz around the Vanderbilt program seems to match Ole Miss blow for blow.
All college football players and coaches are excited in the summer, and if they’re not, they’ll tell you they are anyway.
While Ole Miss far exceeded expectations with a 7-6 season, Vanderbilt had a very un-Vandy like year – even though you could see positive things in James Franklin’s first season in 2011. Last year the Commodores went 9-4, won their last seven games and beat North Carolina State by two touchdowns in the Music City Bowl.
Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews says there’s plenty of talk from his teammates about the season opener against Ole Miss on Aug. 29 in Nashville.
“We can’t wait. I know they’re a hungry team, but people don’t realize how far we’ve come and how hungry we are for that success. We’ve gone from alright to good. We made that step. Now we’re ready to make that step from good to great, and it starts in Week 1,” he said.
Matthews calls Ole Miss “a great team that just had a great recruiting class and has a lot of momentum and hype.”
After Vanderbilt lost 31-17 to Florida in Nashville on Oct. 13, Ole Miss came closer to beating the Commodores than anyone else. A controversial spot went Vanderbilt’s way in the final minutes or the Rebels would likely have run out the clock to win.
The spot wasn’t what Vanderbilt cornerback Andre Hal focused on when asked what he most recalled about the Commodores’ 27-26 win.
“We just lasted longer. That’s why we condition so hard. We lasted longer than they lasted.”