(Saturday, September 13th)
Final Score: Vanderbilt 38, Rice 21
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Jared Hawkins and Chris Nickson combined for 192 rushing yards and three touchdowns, as the Vanderbilt Commodores powered past the Rice Owls, 38-21, in non-conference action at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Nickson (7-of-16, 71 yards passing) carried 13 times for 85 yards and two TDs for the Commodores (3-0), who are off to their second 3-0 start in the last three years. Hawkins finished with 107 yards and one TD on 20 carries.
For Rice (2-1), Chase Clement went 25-of-39 for 299 yards, one TD and one INT. Most of his looks went to James Casey (12 catches, 115 yards) and Jarett Dillard (seven rec., 105 yds., one TD).
The Owls got on the board first, with Clement finding Dillard for a 26-yard scoring strike at the 9:47 mark of the opening quarter.
Five minutes later, Vanderbilt's Sean Walker tied it up on a five-yard touchdown run.
But the Owls came back with a 10-play, 76-yard drive, punctuated by Clement's three-yard touchdown scamper with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter.
The Commodores again knotted things up, this time on a 14-yard touchdown run by Nickson with 8:20 to play in the first half.
Once again, Rice responded with a lengthy drive. The Owls marched 80 yards in 11 plays, with Casey finding pay dirt on a two-yard run.
But from there it was all Commodores. Hawkins made it a 21-21 game by scoring on a seven-yard run with 15 seconds remaining in the first half.
Early in the second half, Vanderbilt's Jamie Graham put the Commodores ahead with a 27-yard touchdown run.
Later in the third quarter, the Commodores put together a 13-play drive that ate up 5:24, as kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt booted a 48-yarder.
DJ Moore's 67-yard punt return set the Commodores up at the one-yard line with 10 minutes remaining in regulation, and one play later, Nickson scored his second touchdown on a one-yard plunge.
Vanderbilt's running game was the difference in this one. The Commodores racked up 273 yards on the ground, for an average of 6.3 ypc.
09/13 23:04:13 ET