Vanderbilt at Duke Oct. 28, 2006 Durham, N.C. Attn: 14,198
With the victory, Vanderbilt goes to 4-5 on the season. The Commodores are 1-3 in SEC play.
With four victories on the season, Vanderbilt has reached four wins in consecutive years for the first time since 1993-94 seasons when the Commodores went 5-6.
It is the third consecutive win in non-Southeastern Conference play for the Commodores, coming after victories over Tennessee State (38-9 on Sept. 23) and Temple (43-14 on Sept. 30). The Commodores opened the season with a 27-7 loss at Michigan.
Today's 45 points are the most scored by the Commodores since scoring 51 points against Tennessee-Chattanooga Sept. 6, 2003.
Ryan Custer (R-Fr.) earned his first career start at left guard, as Mac Pyle (R-Sr.) moved to right guard.
Vanderbilt took the opening kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown, capped by a nine-yard run by Chris Nickson (R-So., QB). It was a 11-play drive, the Commodores' longest touchdown possession since the Ole Miss game. It was also Nickson's team-leading fifth rushing touchdown... With 3:12 left in the first quarter, Nickson hit Earl Bennett (So., WR) on a 77-yard touchdown strike. It was the longest pass completion by Vanderbilt since Jay Cutler and Brandon Smith connected on a 80-yard pass versus Tennessee on Nov. 20, 2004. Bennett's longest previous reception was 44 yards (at Ole Miss, Nov. 7, 2006)... Nickson guided the Commodores to another touchdown in their third possession. Nickson's season-long, 28-yard run put the Commodores deep in Duke territory, then Nickson scored from five yards two plays later. It is the first time for Nickson to register at least two rushing touchdowns in a game... Darlron Spead (R-Fr., CB) picked off his third interception with 6:49 left in the second quarter, giving Vanderbilt the ball at Duke's 41-yard line. On the first play, Nickson hit George Smith on a perfect touchdown pass... It was the most first-half points by a Commodore squad since Vanderbilt posted 41 points in a 51-6 victory over Chattanooga (Sept. 6, 2003)... At the half, Nickson has 267 yards of total offense - 188 passing and 79 rushing.
Second Half Notes
Quarterback sacks by Kevin Joyce (R-Sr., LB) and Reshard Langford (R-So., safety) forced Duke to punt its first possession of the second half... Cassen Jackson-Garrison (Jr., TB) helped Vanderbilt push the lead to 35-7 early in the third quarter with a three-yard touchdown rush.
Chris Nickson - Became the first Commodore quarterback to surpass 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a game since Jay Cutler achieved the feat versus Furman Sept. 7, 2002. With today's performance, Nickson established career highs in passing yards (250) and rushing yards (150) in the win. It was the most rushing yards by a Commodore quarterback since Van Heflin ran for 167 against Air Force on Nov. 17, 1979. Nickson orchestrated 400 total offense.
Earl Bennett - caught nine passes for 184 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown. It was a season high for receiving yardage by the standout sophomore. During the performance, Bennett moved into sixth place on the all-time Commodore receptions list with 133 catches, passing Erik Davis (2002-05), Curt Chesley (1968-70) and Martin Cox (1975-78) on the list. He needs 11 more receptions to become the fifth on the list by.
Kevin Joyce - Led the Commodore defense with 13 tackles (9 solo) and one quarterback sack for a 7-yard loss.