Tennessee State 9

(2-2, 0-1 away)

Vanderbilt 38

(1-3, 1-1 home)

7:00 PM ET, September 23, 2006

Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN

1 2 3 4 T
TNST 0 3 0 69
VAN 7 3 11 1738

Top Performers

Passing: C. Nickson (VAN) - 108 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: J. Hawkins (VAN) - 9 CAR, 54 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: E. Bennett (VAN) - 4 REC, 81 YDS, 1 TD

Vanderbilt 38, Tennessee State 9

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Vanderbilt forced three turnovers and turned them into touchdowns in a span of 2:15 in the second half, sparking a 38-9 victory over Division I-AA Tennessee State on Saturday night.

The Commodores (1-3) led 10-3 late in the third quarter, but downed Brett Upson's 32-yard punt at the Tennessee State 1.

Two plays later, Vanderbilt's Jonathan Goff applied pressure to quarterback Antonio Hefner, who threw the ball into the back of one of his linemen. Vandy's Marcus Buggs picked off the deflection just before stepping out of the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

On the following kickoff, Funtaine Hunter forced a fumble that Vandy's Jared Hawkins recovered at the TSU 7. Two plays later, Commodore quarterback Chris Nickson scored on a 5-yard run for a 24-3.

On the Tigers' next play from scrimmage, Vanderbilt safety Reshard Langford picked off a pass from Hefner and returned it 21 yards to the Tennessee State 33. Nickson hit Earl Bennett with a 33-yard TD pass on the next play.

A solid defensive effort helped the Commodores to a 10-3 halftime lead. The Tigers (2-2) didn't record a first down until midway through the second quarter.

The Commodore offense failed to take advantage of two scoring opportunities on their first two possessions.

After driving to the TSU 2, Bryant Hahnfeldt missed a 19-yard field goal, and only minutes later, Tennessee State's Shaun Richardson dropped Cassen Jackson-Garrison before the goal line on a fourth-and-goal play from the 1.

Vanderbilt did score on its next possession when Nickson hit Marlon White with a 5-yard touchdown pass with 1:11 remaining in the first quarter. Hahnfeldt added a 26-yard field goal on the next Commodore drive for a 10-0 lead.

TSU added a 25-yard Eric Benson field goal with 2:08 remaining in the half. The drive was set up when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted Nickson at the Vanderbilt 39 and returned it to the 12.

The Tigers scored their lone touchdown when Hefner hit Chris Johnson with a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

The meeting was the first between the two universities, located only a few miles apart.