Alabama 24, Vanderbilt 10
By Teresa M. Walker, AP Sports Writer
September 8, 2007
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Terry Grant ran 24 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns, and Alabama made Nick Saban the latest coach to oversee the Crimson Tide's dominance of Vanderbilt with a 24-10 victory Saturday.
Leigh Tiffin kicked three field goals, and Alabama (2-0) won its Southeastern Conference opener with a 20th straight victory in a series it now leads 60-19-4. The Tide improved to 18-3-1 when opening SEC play against the Commodores (1-1, 0-1).
With 18 returning starters, the Commodores came in with what looked like their best chance to defeat Alabama on their home field since 1969 when they last beat the Tide in Nashville.
They found themselves essentially playing a road game with Tide fans who followed Saban to Nashville for his first road trip painting Vanderbilt Stadium mostly red in a rare sellout. Alabama fans spent the final minutes cheering in the pouring rain.
Alabama rolled up 371 yards offense. The margin could have been wider, but Tiffin was wide left on a 49-yarder and short on a 48-yard attempt.
The defense came up with two sacks and a turnover in holding Vandy to 101 yards offense through three quarters. Alabama also held two-time All-SEC receiver Earl Bennett to four catches for 52 yards.
The Commodores were their own worst enemy going three-and-out four times in the first half with penalties wiping out their two biggest plays, including a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Myron Lewis was flagged for face mask that wiped out Alex W ashington's return. A pass interference on Bennett combined with an Alabama face mask wiped out a 60-yard gain on Vandy's first play from scrimmage.
Javier Arenas set up Alabama's first TD with a 69-yard punt return, and Grant scored a play later for a 7-0 lead.
Alabama took control in the second, holding the ball for more than 12 minutes and rolling up 118 yards offense. Tiffin capped a 12-play drive with a 40-yard field goal and added a 29-yarder at halftime.
Chris Nickson, hampered by a sore hamstring, struggled and overthrew receivers in going 5-of-18 for 67 yards. He was replaced by Mackenzi Adams after bouncing his first pass of the second half, and he tossed a 15-yard TD pass to George Smith midway through the fourth.