Vanderbilt Season Opener Against Ole Miss Scheduled for Regional Television Broadcast 5/30/03

The Vanderbilt season opener against Ole Miss August 30 at Vanderbilt Stadium will be shown throughout the Southeast by Southeastern Conference television partner Jefferson Pilot Sports.

The telecast moves kickoff for the VU-Ole Miss opener to 11:30 a.m, according to an announcement made at the recently concluded SEC Meetings.

It will mark the sixth consecutive year for JP Sports to televise the Commodore-Rebel game. Through Vanderbilt has won just once in that span - 34-31 in overtime at Oxford in 1999 - the last three games have come down to last-minute finishes. Last year, the Commodores stormed back from a three-touchdown deficit to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, 38-38, before falling in Oxford, 45-38.

The Ole Miss game is first time since 1929 that Vanderbilt and the Rebels have faced each other in the season opener. Vanderbilt trails in the overall series, 43-32-2.

The Commodores, entering their second year under Head Coach Bobby Johnson, are expected to feature the SEC’s youngest roster, with just eight seniors back this season. The squad has 13 starters returning, including sophomore quarterback Jay Cutler, 2002 SEC Freshman of the Year tailback Kwane Doster and a pair of all-SEC caliber linemen - junior offensive tackle Justin Geisinger and sophomore defensive end Jovan Haye.

Ole Miss, coming off a 7-6 overall record and Independence Bowl victory over Nebraska, is led by senior quarterback Eli Manning, the SEC’s top returning passer and one of the nation’s leading Heisman Trophy candidates. The Rebels, directed by Head Coach David Cutcliffe, are expected to return 15 offensive and defensive starters from the 2002 squad.



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