Vanderbilt Game Notes Vanderbilt-Tennessee State Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006 Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tenn. Attendance: 27,460; Weather: Rainy, 70 degrees, winds up to 18 mph from west-southwest
Pre-Game Weather Delay The first meeting between Vanderbilt and Tennessee State was delayed 40 minutes due to a series of lightning storms in the vicinity of Nashville and Vanderbilt. Kickoff for the game, originally scheduled for 6:05 p.m., actually went off at 6:45 p.m.
First Half Notes After failing to convert a pair of possessions inside the Tennessee State 5-yard line, quarterback Chris Nickson gave Vanderbilt its first points with a five-yard TD pass to Marlon White. It was the 90th career reception for White and his 13th touchdown catch... Redshirt freshman tight end Thomas Welch saw the first action of his Commodore career in close yardage situations... Vanderbilt limited the TSU offense to minus-12 yards of total offense in the first quarter, holding the Tigers without a first down until the 9:35 mark of the second quarter.
Second Half Notes Vanderbilt freshman D.J. Moore blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt by Tennessee State's Eric Benson with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter. It was the second blocked field goal by the Commodores this season. Junior Jonathan Goff blocked a 42-yard attempt against Michigan in the first week of the season... Junior linebacker Marcus Buggs' interception in the Tennessee State endzone gave the Commodores a 17-3 lead with 1:35 left in the third quarter. Fellow linebacker Jonathan Goff pressured TSU quarterback Antonio Heffner on the play. The Tigers were pinned near their own endzone following a 32-yard punt by Vanderbilt's Brett Upson that stopped on the 1-yard line... Vanderbilt's Funtaine Hunter forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that was recovered by Jared Hawkins at Tennessee State's 7-yard line. Two plays later Commodore Chris Nickson rushed six yards for a touchdown, giving the Commodores a 24-3 advantage with 25 second remaining in the third quarter... Vanderbilt forced Tennessee State's fourth turnover of the game when strong safety Reshard Langford intercepted a Heffner pass on the first play of fourth quarter. One play later, Nickson connected on a 33-yard touchdown strike to Earl Bennett at 14:47 to extend the Commodores' lead to 31-3. During the scoring flurry, Vanderbilt posted 21 points in 2:15... Vanderbilt quarterback Mackenzi Adams entered the game with 9:15 remaining... Freshman tailback Jared Hawkins recorded his first collegiate touchdown run on a 6-yard carry with 4:08 left in the game.
General Notes With the victory, Vanderbilt broke a five-game home losing streak at Vanderbilt Stadium. The Commodores last home victory came in a 37-13 win over Richmond on Sept. 24, 2005... Vanderbilt's 28-point win over Tennessee State marked the Commodores' largest margin of victory since a 51-6 win over Chattanooga on Sept. 6, 2003... Tennessee State's 252 total yards of offense were the fewest by a Commodore opponent since Middle Tennessee compiled 209 total yards on Oct. 1, 2005... Defensive end Curtis Gatewood led the Commodores in tackles with nine, including solo tackles. He also posted two tackles and 1.5 sacks... Strong safety Reshard Langford posted one tackle for loss, recovered a fumble and grabbed an interception... Earl Bennett's 33-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was the sophomore's longest TD reception this season.