By: Zac Ellis
NASHVILLE – For the second consecutive Saturday, Vanderbilt took care of business at home.
The Commodores used a big second half to pull away from visiting Nevada and eventually cap a 41-10 win over the Wolf Pack at home. Vanderbilt moved to 2-0 with the victory.
Here’s how it went down:
WHAT HAPPENED: Defense and miscues defined the first quarter as both teams fought to a 0-0 tie after 15 minutes. But Vanderbilt scored two touchdowns within the first five minutes of the second quarter on a Kyle Shurmur pass to Kalija Lipscomb and a Ke’Shawn Vaughn run. A late score by Nevada sent the Dores into half leading 17-10. But the Commodores imposed their will after the break, scoring 17 points in the third quarter and holding Nevada without any points for the remainder of the game.
TURNING POINT: Vanderbilt lead 20-10 midway through the third quarter when cornerback Joejuan Williams soared in to pick off Nevada quarterback Ty Gangi. On the ensuing play, Commodore running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn ran 46 yards for his second touchdown of the day. The score gave Vanderbilt a 27-10 lead and plenty of momentum to go with it.
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Vaughn looked the part of an impact player at running back against Nevada. He ran for 93 yards on 11 carries and added his first two touchdowns as a Commodore, including a 46-yard rush with 6:17 left in the third quarter.
LB Josh Smith
The senior set a new career-high in tackles, it only took him two quarters to do so. Smith had nine total tackles at intermission and finished the day with 10 total stops, including eight solo, and three tackles for loss to lead the Vanderbilt defense.
LB Kenny Hebert
Hebert helped set up Vanderbilt’s second touchdown of the day with a key defensive play. With less than 13 minutes until half, Hebert stripped Nevada quarterback Ty Gangi and recovered the fumble at the Wolf Pack 7. Vaughn ran in a seven-yard touchdown on the next possession to give the Dores a 14-0 lead.
GIVE ME THE NUMBERS
Point scored by Nevada after halftime. Despite trailing just 17-10 at the break, the Wolf Pack couldn’t handle Vanderbilt’s defense in the second half and failed to score a single point in the final two quarters.
Nevada turnovers. The Commodores’ defense forced a Nevada offense that scored 72 points in Week 1 to make plenty of mistakes on Saturday. The Wolf Pack lost two fumbles and tossed a pair of interceptions, including Williams’ momentum-stealing pick in the third quarter.
Kyle Shurmur’s completion percentage through two games in 2018. The senior has completed 33-of-49 passes for 428 yards and four touchdowns in wins over Middle Tennessee and Nevada. That equates to a 67.3 completion percentage on the year with zero turnovers.
WORTH NOTING: Vanderbilt did not punt until 9:15 remained in the game. At that point, the Commodores led 34-10 when punter Parker Thome finally trotted onto the field.
WHAT’S NEXT: Vanderbilt travels to Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. CT on NBC.
Zac Ellis the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.