Nashville, TN – Vanderbilt quarterback #14 Kyle Schurmur and the offense returned to the field with time running out and work to be done. On the 3rd play of the drive, Schurmur would find receiver #16 Kalija Lipscomb again, and again Lipscomb would leave his feet to make a play for the ball resulting in a 68 yard reception for a touchdown.
This put the Commodores up 31-27, which would be the final score as TSU was not able score during the remaining 6:20 playtime left.
When asked about the slow start and the misplays by Schurmur, Coach Mason said he didn’t think the start was slow and that the “defense did what we wanted them to do.” As for the interceptions, “sometimes guys have to play through tough games,’ he noted while adding that Schurmur, “showed resilience.”
Schurmur remarked that his play improved because, “the team needed me to be QB and play better.” He also attributed the two major completions to his “trust in Kalija (Lipscomb).”
Despite two early interceptions, Vanderbilt was able to win at home and improve their record to 3-2. This is also their fourth consecutive win over Tennessee State, and the 8th straight victory over another team from the state of Tennessee. The Tigers had just a short ride home with their first loss of the season.
The defense handled the majority of the work in the first quarter. In the middle of the quarter, TSU middle linebacker #18 Terry Slaughter was able to intercept a pass thrown by Schurmur, and run it back for 13 yards. They were unable to capitalize on the turnover when the field goal attempt by #2 Antonio Zita fell short.
The Commodores were 2-2 on the season coming into the game today, facing a TSU squad who were undefeated at 2-0 so far this year.
Schurmur threw his second interception of the game near the end of the first quarter, this time the ball was picked off by #10 Dajour Nesbeth, who was able to make a 65 yard run to Vanderbilt’s 35 yard line.
Very early in the 2nd quarter, TSU quarterback #7 Demry Croft took advantage of the Commodores turn over and connected a 5 yard pass to #1 Steven Newbold for a touchdown.
Vanderbilt would respond quickly, however, as a 35 yard blast by running back #23 Khari Blasingame would set up great field positioning for Schurmer to make a 4 yard connection to #80 Jared Pinkney to put the home team on the board.
TSU would not wait long to answer, as a 75 yard drive by the Tigers would end with a 31 yard touchdown pass as Croft finds receiver #5 Treon Harris. Kicker Zita missed the point after attempt, but his team had a 13-7 lead.
Vanderbilt received the kickoff to open the second half, and took that opportunity to make a 7 play, 76 yard drive to the end zone, which culminated in an incredible diving catch by receiver Lipscomb.
With an 11 point deficit, TSU fought back. At 6:35 in the 3rd Quarter, Fullback #27 DeMarco Corbin made a two yard push into the end zone to bring the deficit down to 4 points, after Zita completed the point after attempt. The Tigers were not done. Nearly halfway through 4th quarterback Croft made a quick 1-yard toss to Fullback Andrew Knox, which resulted in the team taking the lead back 27-24.
The Commodores were 2-2 on the season coming into the game today, facing a TSU squad who were undefeated at 2-0 till today’s loss that allowed them to be over .500 ball.
Now the Commodores will travel to No 2 Georgia next Saturday and try to pull off an upset.