OXFORD, Ohio -- Quarterback Chris Nickson rushed for a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns and passed for another TD to lead Vanderbilt to a 34-13 victory over Miami of Ohio in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.
An interception and a punt return by D.J. Moore lead to 10 Vanderbilt points during a six-minute span of the first quarter as the Commodores pulled away.
The victory was the first for Vanderbilt since Oct. 27, when it beat Miami 24-13. Vanderbilt then needed one more victory to become bowl eligible, but lost the final four games of the regular season.
Miami's only lead Thursday night came on a 37-yard field goal by Nathan Parseghian early in the first quarter.
Vanderbilt when ahead 7-3 when Nickson and Sean Walker hooked up for a 49-yard completion and then a 4-yard touchdown pass.
Moore's interception on the RedHawks' ensuing possession led to a 42-yard field goal by Bryant Hahnfeldt. Moore later returned a punt 91 yards to the Miami 1, and Nickson plunged in from there to put the Commodores on top 17-3.
The RedHawks answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Raudabaugh to Eugene Harris. But Vanderbilt countered in just three plays, including a 59-yard run by Nickson and a 14-yard touchdown run by Nickson.
Nickson was 9-of-16 for 91 yards.
Raudabaugh was 19-of-41 for 244 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
AP's Ralph Russo joins The Paul Finebaum Show to break down what could happen if the Big 12 extends its conference.
Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson joins Highly Questionable to share the craziest offers he received while being recruited by colleges, as well as recounts why he decommitted from Oklahoma to go to SMU.
With so many departures and holes to fill across the division, no team is in great shape at linebacker.
ESPN'S KC Joyner joins The Paul Finebaum Show to give his take on the Rebels' strength of schedule and impact of replacing important starters.
Wisconsin gets LSU at Lambeau Field and a win would provide a big leap for the Badgers; the West is wide open and will come down to the final week.
In 2006, coach Gary Pinkel and QB Chase Daniel were beginning a run that would see the Tigers win Big 12 North Division titles in 2007 and 2008.