On campus in Nashville - The defense controlled much of a 70-yard scrimmage Saturday afternoon as the Commodores made their first appearance this spring in Vanderbilt Stadium.
The scrimmage came on Junior Day as the second week of Vanderbilt's Spring Practice came to a close.
The Commodores are expected to return to practice on Tuesday leading to the team's featured Black & Gold Scrimmage on Saturday, March 29. The featured scrimmage will start at 11 a.m., in Vanderbilt Stadium.
When the Commodores get back to work, the offense will look to improve off a difficult performance on Saturday. The Commodore defense clamped down much of the time, shutting down their counterparts on nine straight drives after the offense opened with a seven-play drive that ended in a short field goal. As the scrimmage came to a close, the offense gathered some momentum with touchdowns on three consecutive possessions that began inside defensive territory.
Quarterback Mackenzi Adams and tailback Jeff Jennings were effective in the opening drive that eventually stalled just outside the end zone. Adams broke loose on a scramble for 47 yards, then hit Jennings for 16 yards on a screen pass to the 5-yard line. The possession ended with two incomplete passes and a tackle of Jennings by end Broderick Stewart and linebacker John Stokes.
Quarterback Chris Nickson was responsible for getting the offense back on track. Starting inside the 50-yard line, Nickson rushed out of the pocket for 11 and 24 yards, before eluding two defenders to score on a 4-yard carry.
Adams guided the final scoring drive, though Billinger provided one of the scrimmage highlights with a punishing tackle for loss on Gaston Miller. After Adams rushed for 11 yards, Miller came back from the hit with an impressive 10-yard carry off right tackle, then scored on a 2-yard rush.