Vanderbilt Downs Ole Miss 31-17
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Sept. 15, 2007


Senior running back Cassen Jackson-Garrison rushed for 119 yards and a career-best three touchdowns on 23 carries. By topping 100 yards, Jackson Garrison became the first VU running back to top the century mark in rushing since his 142-yard effort against Temple in 2006.

After allowing 120 yards in the first quarter, Vanderbilt held Ole Miss to just 142 yards the rest of the game. Ole Miss was held to just 54 yards rushing on 32 carries after entering the game averaging 151.5 yards on the ground. VU's defense also totaled seven sacks, five pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. The Commodores also limited BJ Green-Ellis to just 66 yards after he entered the game second in the league with an average of 152.5 yards per game.

Following a 23-yard missed field goal by Vanderbilt, which would have extended the Commodores' lead to 10, 27-17, Vanderbilt's defense came up large. Clinging to a seven-point advantage, Vanderbilt forced a turnover on downs with a sack by defensive end Curtis Gatewood on fourth and 10 on the Ole Miss' 21. Following the sack, running back Cassen Jackson-Garrison sealed the victory with a 7-yard touchdown run.

"This was a must-win game after losing to Alabama," head coach Bobby Johnson said. "Alabama is a pretty good team, but we just didn't like the way we played against Alabama, so we felt like we had to come out and be physical, and I felt like we were very physical."

Junior wide receiver Earl Bennett notched 11 receptions for 100 yards. He now needs just 20 catches and 696 yards to become the SEC's all-time leader in career receptions and receiving yardage.

The Commodores opened the game with a touchdown on the first possession of the game. The 55-yard scoring drive was capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Chris Nickson. The opening-drive touchdown was the first by Vanderbilt since Oct. 28, 2006 against Duke. Ironically, the scoring drive against the Blue Devils also culminated with a touchdown run by Nickson.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Chris Nickson threw for 200 yards and ran for 78 more and a touchdown to lead Vanderbilt to a 31-17 win over Mississippi Saturday night.

Cassen Jackson-Garrison had three touchdowns and 127 yards rushing, and the Commodores (2-1) improved to 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Rebels (1-2) dropped their league opener for the fourth consecutive year. Ole Miss fell to 46-34-2 against Vanderbilt.

Brent Schaeffer relieved Seth Adams in the fourth quarter and threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace on his first attempt to narrow the score to 24-17. Schaeffer failed to complete a pass on the following possession, and Jackson-Garrison scored for the Commodores on a short field to put the game out of reach.

Nickson, hampered all week by a sore hamstring, completed his first 10 passes to pace a Commodores offense that gained a season-high 183 rushing yards.

Adams threw for 154 yards on 10-for-17 passing, including a 36-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace that narrowed the Rebels' deficit to 14-10.  However, he threw a late interception to D.J. Moore, and four plays later Vanderbilt took a 24-10 lead.

Two-time All-SEC receiver Earl Bennett caught 11 passes for 100 yards, his ninth career game with at least 100 yards receiving at Vanderbilt.

The Commodores' defense was constantly in the Rebels' backfield to force six sacks.

Wallace caught four passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns for Ole Miss, whose offense managed just 54 yards rushing.

Bryan Hahnfeldt kicked a 24-yard field goal for Vanderbilt.

Joshua Shene kicked a 34-yard field goal to narrow the gap to 7-3 but missed another.



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