Season Opener Against Ole Miss Scheduled for Regional Television
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.