Sunday, September 21, 2008

VU Moves to 4-0, gets Ranked

Vanderbilt won an intense, game on the road at Ole Miss moving to 4-0 and today is Ranked 25 and 21 in the Coaches and AP polls respectively. This takes the SEC to 6 ranked teams. Last week the SEC set a record for having 5 teams in the top 10 from the same conference. There is no doubt which conference is the best in football.

This was a huge victory for VU and they are doing it in ways that VU teams in times past have failed. They are finishing strong and creating turnovers instead of committing them. They had two 2nd half goal line stands, the last one to prevent the go ahead score by Ole Miss, creating a fumble as the Ole Miss runner crossed the 1 yard line.

They are also handling adversity with patience and confidence. In the first quarter Ole Miss made big plays jumping out to a large, quick lead on VU mistakes, but Ryan Hamilton returned his first of 3 interceptions 79 yards for a touchdown as Ole Miss was preparing a knockout punch. Hamilton earned National Defensive Player of the Week from the Walter Camp Football Foundation for his incredible effort.

Hamilton's interception return got VU back in the game and changed the momentum. VU overcame the early deficit to enter halftime tied 17-17. Given our second half performance this year, this is a great position for VU.

Vanderbilt has only given up 10 2nd half points this year and has significantly outscored its opponents after the 1st quarter. Ole Miss did not score after the 1st quarter last night, the second consecutive 2nd half shutout for the 'Dores defense. And we have depth. We are very dinged up but still winning.

Ole Miss hurt themselves continually with penalties while VU remained poised continuing to be the least penalized team in the SEC.

Huge test in two weeks--a tough Auburn defense in Nashville. Vanderbilt can capitalize on Auburn's offense and will have to do this to win.


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