Sep 7, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Like last week, Vanderbilt got off to a slow start, but this result was much different.
Austyn Carta-Samuels ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Vanderbilt beat Austin Peay 38-3 Saturday night.
Leading 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Commodores opened the game up in the second, scoring touchdowns on four straight possessions.
"It is something that I have noticed this week and last week," Carta-Samuels said. "Our second quarters have been phenomenal but our first quarters have been slow. It is definitely going to be a focal point moving forward, starting really well at the beginning of practice because that is where everything happens first, and then carrying it over into Saturdays."
Carta-Samuels, making his third career start for Vanderbilt, had a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:23 remaining in the second. Later on in the quarter he connected with receiver Jordan Matthews on a 39-yard touchdown play.
A week after posting a career-high 178 receiving yards against Mississippi, Matthews caught six balls for 111 yards. The senior has caught a touchdown pass in his last seven games.
Vanderbilt has scored at least 35 points in its last five games.
Carta-Samuels' second rushing touchdown came with 24 seconds remaining in the first half following an Austin Peay fumble deep inside its own territory.
Playing just the first half, Carta-Samuels finished 14-of-22 passing for 223 yards and the one touchdown.
"We wanted to be 1-0 this week and we were 1-0 this week," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. "Is there a lot of learning on that tape, a lot of things we need to get cleaned up? No doubt about it. Like I mentioned last week, I'd rather learn and grow as a team and an organization with a win rather than the other way."
Austin Peay failed to earn a first down in the first half. The Governors finished with just 139 yards of offense in the game.
"That's what we are trained to do, go three-and-out, that's initially what we want to do," Vanderbilt linebacker Darreon Herring said. "I think our defensive line, our DBs, and everybody up front played a tremendous first half. But we can do better though, especially coming out for the second half. We can do much better than we came out, and did."
After dropping its season opener last Thursday at home against Mississippi, Vanderbilt (1-1) evened its record. Against the Rebels, the Commodores had a sluggish first quarter before battling back in the second and eventually losing on a late Mississippi touchdown.
In addition to Carta-Samuels' pair of touchdown runs, Vanderbilt also had rushing touchdowns from Brian Kimbrow and Jerron Seymour.
Playing their second SEC opponent in as many weeks, the Governors (0-2), from the Ohio Valley Conference, lost their 18th consecutive road game.
"I was very impressed with our defense early, we had energy, we had emotion and we went out there with a purpose," Austin Peay coach Kirby Cannon said. "We did the things you had to do, we put some of our defensive backs in tough positions, but we did the things we wanted to do early and I was proud of that. I can't say the same about our offense. Offenses are offenses, sometimes they click, sometimes they don't. It's just up to us as coaches to find out the things we can do on a consistent basis. We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel, we just want to find the things that we do well. "
Governors kicker Walter Spears connected on a 20-yard field goal with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter to account for their only appearance on the scoreboard this season.
With their one field goal, they did avoid being shut out in back-to-back contests. Prior to last week, Austin Peay had not been blanked in 84 straight games, dating back to 2005.
Vanderbilt is 13-0-1 all-time against opponents from the OVC, and they are 16-1 all-time versus Football Championship Subdivision teams.
Separated by just 50 miles, it was the first meeting between the schools.