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Rapid Reaction: Vanderbilt 27, Ole Miss 26

Phillip Waller/The Daily Mississippian

Up 26-20 and in position to clinch bowl eligibility for the first time since 2009 after a field goal from Bryson Rose, Ole Miss’ defense couldn’t stop Vanderbilt from driving nine plays for 72 yards in 1:51. The Commodores topped it off with a Jordan Rodgers 26-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Chris Boyd to tie the game at 26-26.

Kicker Casey Spear drove home the extra point to put Vanderbilt on 27-26 and left the Rebels with just 52 seconds left to get into field goal position after the kickoff.

Quarterback Bo Wallace’s pass attempt to Donte Moncrief on fourth-and-seven from the Vanderbilt was off target, and the Rebels fell short of clinching bowl eligibility with a 27-26 loss to the now bowl eligible Commodores.

Wallace threw for 403 yards and a touchdown, but it was not enough as the Rebels mustered just 55 yards rushing on 40 attempts.

For Vanderbilt, Rodgers was 20-of-35 for 267 yards and two touchdowns, while receiver Jordan Matthews hauled in nine catches for 153 yards.

The Rebels jumped out to an early 7-0 lead thanks to a nine-yard touchdown pass from Bo Wallace to Vincent Sanders with 11:16 left in the first quarter. Sanders had a big game, hauling in five passes for 96 yards and that touchdown.

Bryson Rose tacked on three first-half field goals as the Rebels bogged down in the red zone twice in the first half.

The only points Vanderbilt would muster in the first half came on two field goals from Carey Spears, including a 44-yarder to close out the first half that cut Ole Miss’ lead to 16-6.

Ole Miss added to its 16-6 halftime lead immediately, as a Jaylen Walton 44-yard kickoff return gave Ole Miss good field position, and the Rebels drove 56 yards in nine plays, ending with a Wallace touchdown run from one-yard out to make it 23-6.

Vanderbilt mounted a comeback, as quarterback Jordan Rodgers connected with receiver Jordan Matthews for a 52-yard touchdown catch to make it 23-13.

The Rebels offense went three-and-out two times in a row to follow, and Vanderbilt took advantage with an 11 play, 51-yard drive that ended with a two-yard rushing touchdown from running back Wesley Tate to make it 23-20 with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.

Ole Miss got down inside the Vanderbilt red zone with just a few minutes left in the game, but again failed to put the ball in the end zone. The Rebels had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Rose, his fourth of the game, to up the advantage to 26-20 with 2:43 left.