Tennessee at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt 41, Tennessee 18


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Vanderbilt Commodores ended years of frustration at the hands of their in-state rival Tennessee with one of their best victories in decades.

Making their celebration even sweeter?

The Commodores also ensured Tennessee's third straight losing season, putting Volunteers' coach Derek Dooley's job status in further jeopardy.

Andre Hal intercepted two passes and Jordan Rodgers threw for two touchdowns as Vanderbilt routed Tennessee 41-18 Saturday night for the Commodores' fifth straight victory, clinching their first winning record in the regular season since 1982.

In-state rival Tennessee had won 34 of the past 35 games in this series coming into this game. The Commodores (7-4, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) also snapped a 14-game skid against Tennessee at home with their first win in Nashville since 1982 and the most points they've scored against the Vols since a 51-7 win in 1923.

Vanderbilt also had its biggest margin of victory over Tennessee since a 26-0 win in 1954 in a game the Commodores were held to a pair of field goals by Carey Spear after having first-and-goal at the Volunteers' 5 and closer. The Commodores also won five SEC games for the first time since 1935.

The Vols (4-7, 0-7) haven't had three straight losing seasons since 1909-11. They also will miss out on a bowl game in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976-1978.

Vanderbilt led 13-10 at halftime and took control with a dominant third quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points in a stretch where the Commodores outgained Tennessee 175-13.

Receiver Jordan Matthews scored on a 47-yard end around - his first career rushing TD - running back Wesley Tate tossed a jump pass to Kris Kentera for a 3-yard TD and Zac Stacy became Vandy's all-time scoring leader with his 27th career TD on a 10-yard run for a 34-10 lead with 1:53 left.

Rodgers finished 13 of 26 for 245 yards, and Matthews caught seven passes for 115 yards, including a 71-yard TD.

Vanderbilt came in with a scoring defense ranked 16th in the nation, giving up just 18 points a game. The Commodores got a rare sack against Tennessee, and a unit that had four interceptions all season and none against an SEC opponent since the season opener against South Carolina got three that Vandy turned into 17 points.

This game was expected to be a shootout with Tennessee averaging 37.9 points per game and Tyler Bray threatening Peyton Manning's single-season passing record. Bray had been nearly perfect in the last three games, throwing for 1,302 yards with 13 TDs and only one interception.

Vanderbilt outgained Tennessee 442-303 in total offense, and Bray wound up benched before returning for his worst game this season.

Bray stared at the Vandy sideline after he threw his lone TD, a 14-yarder to Nashville native Zach Rogers in the second quarter. Bray was intercepted by Johnell Thomas off a tipped pass on the next drive, and Dooley benched the junior with Bray 6 of 17 for 79 yards in the half. Bray finished 11 of 29 for a season-low 103 yards passing.

Sophomore Justin Worley did little better for Tennessee after entering with only 12 pass attempts for 83 yards with an interception this season.

Hal intercepted a Worley pass intended for Cordarrelle Patterson and ran it 36 yards to the Tennessee 17. Rodgers put Vandy up 13-7 with an 11-yard TD pass to Chris Boyd, who pulled the ball in before stepping out of the back of the end zone.

Worley did move the Vols 51 yards to set up a 28-yard field goal by Michael Palardy just before halftime to pull within 13-10 of Vanderbilt.

Dooley put Bray back in for the third quarter, and the Vols went three-and-out. Vanderbilt took over from there, and Tennessee's lone highlight was an 81-yard punt return by Patterson in the fourth quarter after the game's outcome was long decided.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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Scoring Summary
VANDYCarey Spear 19 yd FG
TENNZach Rogers 14 yd pass from Tyler Bray (Michael Palardy kick)
VANDYCarey Spear 27 yd FG
VANDYChris Boyd 11 yd pass from Jordan Rodgers (Carey Spear kick)
TENNMichael Palardy 28 yd FG
VANDYJordan Matthews 47 yd run (Ryan Fowler kick)
VANDYKris Kentera 3 yd pass from Wesley Tate (Carey Spear kick)
VANDYZac Stacy 10 yd run (Ryan Fowler kick)
VANDYJordan Matthews 71 yd pass from Jordan Rodgers (Ryan Fowler kick)
TENNCordarrelle Patterson 81 yd punt return (MARLIN LANE 2pt run)
Team Stats
First Downs1915
Third Down Efficiency2-155-16
Fourth Down Efficiency0-30-0
Plays-Net Yards74-30368-442
Passing Yds154248
Kick Return Yds12943
Punt Return Yds10920
Time of Poss.25:4934:11
Individual Stats
TENN: Marlin Lane 16-108, Rajion Neal 13-61, Alton Howard 2--5, Tyler Bray 2--15
VANDY: Zac Stacy 17-85, Jordan Matthews 1-47, Wesley Tate 13-40, Brian Kimbrow 4-15, Jordan Rodgers 3-9, Team 2--2
TENN: Tyler Bray 11-29-103-2, Justin Worley 8-11-51-1, Michael Palardy 0-1-0-0
VANDY: Jordan Rodgers 13-26-245-1, Wesley Tate 1-1-3-0, Zac Stacy 0-1-0-0
TENN: Justin Hunter 5-39, Marlin Lane 5-37, Cordarrelle Patterson 3-52, Alton Howard 2--9, Zach Rogers 1-14, Mychal Rivera 1-13, Ben Bartholomew 1-10, Rajion Neal 1--2
VANDY: Jordan Matthews 7-115, Chris Boyd 3-35, Zac Stacy 2-86, Wesley Tate 1-9, Kris Kentera 1-3
Tennessee2nd SEC East4-49-4
Vanderbilt5th SEC East3-56-7

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