NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nick Maggio kicked a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter after Duke missed its first two attempts, and the Blue Devils made that stand in beating Vanderbilt 10-7 on Saturday.
Duke (4-3) snapped a six-game skid in this series and put a serious dent in Vanderbilt's bowl hopes. The Commodores (5-3) lost their third straight game trying to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1982 after opening the season with five straight wins in their best start since 1943.
But Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe came in 23-2 when coaching against Vanderbilt with his stints at Tennessee and Mississippi, and he improved to 6-0 as head coach against Commodores coach Bobby Johnson.
Duke controlled most of an ugly game, coming up with four sacks and three turnovers. The last sealed the victory with 38 seconds left as the Commodores had one last try. Chris Rwabukamba picked off a pass from Mackenzi Adams at the Duke 1.
Chris Shannon recovered a fumbled punt by Vandy's Jamie Graham midway through the third at the Commodores 15 that set up Maggio's field goal. Joe Surgan missed a 50-yard attempt, Maggio missed a 43-yarder just before halftime and never got a chance to try a 52-yarder in the first after a fumbled snap.
Vanderbilt kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt, who missed a 34-yard field-goal attempt wide left at the start of the second quarter, had a chance to tie it at 10 with 7:16 left. But he pushed a 43-yard attempt wide right.
Thaddeus Lewis threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Tony Jackson just before halftime for a 7-0 lead. It was Jackson's fourth reception of the season, and he finished with three catches for 74 yards.
Vanderbilt's defense kept the Commodores in the game by holding Duke to 250 yards total offense. Broderick Stewart had two of five sacks. The last came when Chris Marve came untouched and sacked Lewis on third-and-2 from the Vandy 2, knocking the ball loose. T.J. Greenstone recovered for Vandy.
Four plays later, Adams dropped back and threw deep to Sean Walker who caught the ball and finished off a 79-yard touchdown to pull Vandy within 10-7 with 13:20 left. Adams had completed only one pass in the first half and was just 4-of-11 for 38 yards before the scoring play.
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