Oct. 4, 2008
Commodore Game Notes
Auburn at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tenn.
Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008
With the victory over Auburn, Vanderbilt is now 5-0 on the season for the first time since World War II. The 1943 team finished the year with a 5-0 record. Prior to that the 1937 team started 5-0 en route to a 7-2 season ... The win was the first against Auburn since the 1955 Gator Bowl (25-13), snapping a 13-game losing streak to the Tigers ... The win was the first in Nashville since the 1950 campaign ... The Commodores moved to 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1950 and remain atop the Eastern Division standings ... The all-time series is now tied at 20-20-1 ... Vanderbilt came back from a 13-point first quarter deficit and has now rallied from behind to win in all five games this year ... After giving up the 13 points, the Commodores held the Tigers scoreless for the remainder of the game ... The Commodores have now outscored opponents 58-10 in the second half ... The Auburn point total was the lowest in the series since the 1955 Gator Bowl ... Head Coach Bobby Johnson has now recorded wins over Tommy Tuberville, Mark Richt, Houston Nutt and Steve Spurrier in his career.
With 8:42 left in the first quarter, Patrick Benoist and Ryan Hamilton combined to stop Ben Tate short of the endzone fourth and goal. The Commodores stopped Ole Miss twice on the goal line in the second half on Sept. 20. Hamilton had played a role in that defensive stand as well.
Senior wide receiver George Smith started in his first game of the year. He missed the first four games while rehabbing from injury.
Nickson's first interception of the year came at the 3:58 mark of first quarter, with an attempt intended for Smith getting picked up by Auburn CB Jarraud Powers. Nickson had thrown 54 straight passes this season without an interception. Two plays later, the Tigers scored on a 28-yard TD pass to open a 14-0 margin.
For the third time this season, the Commodores faced a deficit after the first quarter. The 13-0 deficit was the largest of the season.
With 13:02 left in the second quarter, Broderick Stewart sacked Auburn quarterback Chris Todd for an eight yard loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Tigers. It was his second sack of the year and 13th of his career. It was his first forced fumble in 2008.
With 4:28 left in the second quarter, Broderick Stewart tackled Ben Tate for an eight-yard loss to the Vanderbilt 19-yard line forcing a punt.
At the 3:41 mark, D.J. Moore returned a punt 25 yards to give the Commodores a first and 10 from the Auburn 30 yard line.
Wide receiver Alex Washington made his first appearance of the year at the 2:45 mark. He missed the first four games while rehabbing from injury.
With 39 seconds remaining in the first half, Mackenzi Adams completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Justin Wheeler on third and goal to cut the Auburn deficit to 13-7. It was Adams' first touchdown throw of the year and Wheeler's first touchdown reception of the season and second of his career.
After giving up 89 rushing yards on 18 carries and 126 yards of total offense in the first quarter, the Commodore defense stiffened up in the second quarter allowing just 17 yards on 11 carries and just 25 yards of total offense.
With Auburn's two touchdowns in the first quarter, opponents have now outscored Vanderbilt 54-38 in the frame. The Commodores have outscored opponents in the other three quarters, and with a touchdown in the second period they now hold a 37-17 2nd quarter advantage.
Brett Upson punted four times for a 39.0 yard average in the first half and two were downed inside the 20.
George Smith recorded his first catch of the season at the 12:42 mark in the third quarter. The 12-yard reception resulted in a first down.
Bryant Hahnfeldt's 40-yard field goal attempt at the 11:47 was wide left, marking the first time in eight tries he has not converted.
Mackenzi Adams 1-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Barden at the 7:09 mark gave the Commodores a 14-13 lead. The drive covered 68 yards on eight plays and took 2:52.
Barden's touchdown reception was his second of the year; he scored on a 31-yard pass against South Carolina on Sept. 4.
Auburn had three consecutive three-and-out's to start the second half and recorded just two first downs the entire half.
Vanderbilt has now outscored opponents 31-3 in the third quarter.
At the 13:10 mark, Myron Lewis' 11-yard sack was his third of the season. It came on third and eight, forcing Auburn to punt the ball.
Stephen Stone's four-yard sack at the 3:43 mark forced Auburn to punt.
Brett Upson's 55-yard punt at the 2:16 mark in the fourth quarter was downed by Alan Strong at the 1-yard line.
Myron Lewis' interception on the next play at the Auburn 28-yard line clinched the game for the Commodores. It was his second interception of the season.
Vanderbilt held Auburn scoreless in the fourth quarter and has outscored opponents 27-7 in the quarter.
The Commodores passed for a season high 157 yards, besting the 91 yards against Miami (Ohio) in the season opener.
Mackenzi Adams finished with 13-of-23 with 153 yards and two scores, all season-passing highs for Vanderbilt. He also had 54 yards rushing to lead the team in that category.
Justin Wheeler finished with a career-high five receptions for 52 yards and his first touchdown of the season.
Patrick Benoist finished with 13 tackles and an eight-yard sack. It was his third double-digit tackle game of the season.
Chris Marve recorded his second straight double-digit tackle game, finishing with 10 stops.
Ryan Hamilton finished with 10 tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. It was his second double-digit tackle game of the year and he finished one tackle short of his single game best of 11 set against Rice.
Brett Upson finished with eight punts for a 39.1-yard average and four of them were downed inside the 20-yard line.
Vanderbilt held Auburn to 98 yards passing, the lowest total since allowing just 31 yards to Ole Miss on Oct. 6, 2006.