Len Kiffin thinks there have been a lot of cautionary tales about college football lately that help the No. 10 Mississippi avoid seeing Vanderbilt.
Sure, the Rebels (8-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) break into the Top 10 in Saturday’s game against the Commodores, while New Year’s eyeballs a shot at reaching six bowls and double-digit wins.
Kiffin doesn’t want the mind of his players on the Vanderbilt tour (2-8, 0-6).
“All you have to do is look across the country,” Kiffin said. “Texas-Kansas. Florida moved to South Carolina. These are a huge number of favorites (losers). And it’s an SEC game. We have issues with all three stages at some point in the year. So no looking forward. “
Still, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, Ole is the favorite on Miss Commodore by 36.5 points.
The Rebels are taking a 29-19 win over No. 16 Texas A&M and trying to maintain that same focus.
“We have to have respect for every team,” said Ole Miss defensive and Sam Williams. “We’ll probably play harder than when we played Texas A&M, because it’s the next game. Texas has been to A&M and now it’s on to the next.
“We don’t look at the records. We look at them, they are an opportunity. And everyone who comes to Wyatt, they have to have it. They have to.”
Vandy has two more chances to snap a 19-game SEC skid — both on the road — at Ole Miss and Tennessee. Coach Clarke Lee expressed no objection to his team’s fight.
“They’re going to bond together and we’re going to take our swing and I have no doubt that we’ll give it our best effort,” Lee said.
The end of the chorale?
Kiffin is not optimistic that quarterback Matt Coral will play at Watt-Hemingway Stadium for his senior season. The Heisman Trophy candidate is offered as a first-round NFL draft pick.
“I’m making a pretty safe assumption that the quarterback won’t come back,” Kiffin said. Coral itself has not announced its plans.
Kiffin gave a call-out to Rebels fans this week.
“To me, it should be a challenge to our fans that Texas A&M didn’t use a silent count, which is pretty much unheard of at this convention, to go down the street and use a verbal count,” Kiffin said. said. “It must be a challenge for our fans to cheer out loud.
“Senior day and probably quarterback’s last day. Hopefully they come out.”
The Commodores are ranked 15th nationally this season with 12 interceptions and need only one more to match Vanderbilt’s highest totals for the past eight seasons. Vanderbilt had number 13 in 2016. Wide receiver Chris Pierce Jr. had the latest interception, extending Vanderbilt’s streak to seven straight games with at least one pick. He picked up a Hail Mary at the end of the first half against Kentucky.
Vanderbilt has lost a captain for the final two games to defensive lineman Davian Davies. Davis suffered a leg injury due to the loss to Kentucky, and Lee said Davis was undergoing season-ending surgery. “He has been the heartbeat and one of the main arteries of the team from the very beginning,” Lee said. Quarterback Ken Seals was enlisted as day-to-day after returning from an arm injury for the Kentucky game.
The Rebels will not have safety Jake Springer for the first half. He was flagged to target in the third quarter against Texas A&M, and his teammates thought it was a major loss.
“I would say he is the life of the defence,” said defensive back Ashanti Sistrunk, who had a late interception against Aegis. “When he is on the field, it is as if everyone is ready to go. He is a monster.
“It was a big change when he came out.”
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