Vanderbilt Game Notes Vanderbilt at Ole Miss Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006 Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
For the first time in more than three years, Vanderbilt offensive tackle Brian Stamper missed a starting assignment due to a nagging leg injury. Entering the game, Stamper topped all Southeastern Conference offensive linemen with 36 consecutive games. Replacing Stamper and earning his first career start was redshirt junior Elliot Hood.
All 11 Commodore defensive starters have been in the Vanderbilt starting unit at least three games this season. Eight of the defenders -- DE Chris Booker, DT Ray Brown, DT Theo Horrocks, DE Curtis Gatewood, LB Jonathan Goff, LB Kevin Joyce, LB Marcus Buggs and safety Reshard Langford -- have started all six games this season.
First Half Notes
Commodore special teams opened the game with a jarring tackle by redshirt linebacker Chris Johnson... Turnovers and a special teams miscues caused Vanderbilt to fall behind by 14 points, 14-0, its largest deficit since the final minutes of the season opener at Michigan... The Commodore offense came back and put together a 10-play, 84-yard touchdown drive to narrow the margin to 14-7. Chris Nickson and Sean Walker connected for the touchdown on a 18-yard pass. Nickson was 4-of-4 passing on the drive and Walker posted his first career touchdown reception... With 10:02 left in the second quarter, Booker and Joyce made a huge defensive play, stopping Ole Miss QB Brent Schaeffer for no gain on a 4th-and-2 from the VU 10-yard line... With 2:25 left before half, Langford gave Vanderbilt an excellent opportunity, intercepting a Schaeffer pass and returning it 37 yards to the Ole Miss 14-yard line. It was Langford's team-leading third interception of the season, and sixth career... The Commodores were unable to deliver on the turnover, missing a 37-yard field goal attempt... The Commodores limited Ole Miss to 108 total yards in the first half... Nickson, who missed the final possession after rolling his right ankle, was 11 of 13 for 95 yards and a TD in the half.
Second Half Notes
Redshirt freshman Mackenzi Adams opened the second half at quarterback after replacing Nickson late in the second quarter... Vanderbilt's first series of the second half resulted in a lost fumble, giving the Rebels excellent field possession inside Commodore territory. The Vanderbilt defense limited Ole Miss to a 32-yard field goal... Following VU's fourth lost fumble of the game, redshirt nickelback Darlron Spead made his second career interception with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Commodore offense an opportunity at the Ole Miss 25 yard line... Sophomore placekicker Bryant Hahnfeldt connected on a 37-yard field goal with 4:53 remaining in the fourth quarter to bring the Commodores with seven points, 17-10...
Sophomore wide receiver Earl Bennett set a season-high mark for the Commodores with 10 catches for 179 receiving yards... It marks Bennett's fourth career 100-yard receiving day, his first since Nov. 19, 2005, at Tennessee (14-167)... For Bennett, it was the most receiving yards since Oct. 22, 2005, at South Carolina (16-204)
Redshirt freshman quarterback MacKenzi Adams was effective relieving the injured Chris Nickson... Adams completed 50% of his passing attempts for 176 yards. The yardage and his 10 completions were both career highs.
Vanderbilt's defense played an outstanding game... The Commodores allowed only 196 total yards, the lowest total of the season, and only 31 passing yards -- the first time since Sept. 6, 2003, vs. Chattanooga that the Commodores held an opponent's passing attack under 50 yards... The performance also marks the third time that the Commodores came up with two interceptions... The Ole Miss offense was 1-of-12 on third-down conversions... Senior Kevin Joyce led the Commodores with eight total tackles (six solo) and one tackle-for-loss.
The Commodore offense gained 453 yards of net offense -- a season high -- but gave up five turnovers, including a season-high six fumbles (four lost)... Ole Miss scored all of its points off turnovers... Vanderbilt had 23 first downs to seven for Ole Miss... Vanderbilt controlled the ball of 35:25 in the game.