Here are five things to watch in this season opener between Mississippi and Vanderbilt:
EXPERIENCED QUARTERBACKS: Wallace is healthy after having his shoulder repaired this offseason, plus he ran for eight touchdowns last season for the most by an Ole Miss quarterback since Archie Manning. He also threw a career-high 403 yards in that loss last season to Vandy. Austyn Carta-Samuels now is Vandy’s quarterback, and he got one start last season to go along with 21 starts at Wyoming.
CATCHING ON: Treadwell was the top-rated receiver by several services coming out of high school. Wallace also has Donte Moncrief back after he tied a single-season school record with 10 TD catches. Vanderbilt will be without junior Chris Boyd, suspended for allegedly offering advice on how to cover up a rape in a campus dormitory in June. Four players charged with rape in the case were dismissed. The Commodores do have Matthews, an All-SEC receiver who caught 94 passes for 1,323 yards last season.
UPTEMPO DEFENSE: Ole Miss likes to push the pace on offense, and Franklin said he saw 10 or 12 plays in the Commodores’ game in Oxford last year where all Rebels weren’t set when they snapped the ball. So the Vandy coach wants officials ready to make sure nobody’s moving offensively that shouldn’t be. But Franklin said he enjoys the coaching challenge. “We’re going to run an up-tempo defense this year, which no one’s ever heard of,” Franklin said.
OLE MISS D: Vanderbilt has an experienced offensive line that will be tested. The Rebels ranked first in the SEC and fourth nationally averaging 7.9 tackles for loss season and second in the league with 2.9 sacks per game.
DEFENSIVE LOVE AFFAIR: Vandy had the nation’s sixth-best pass efficiency defense in 2012, and cornerback Andre Hal may be the player who follows Casey Heyward and Trey Wilson with lots of interceptions. Franklin said he hopes the ball likes Hal as much as it did Heyward and Wilson.