RECAP: Tennessee scored on two of its first three possessions, then got a special-teams touchdown to grab a 21-0 first-quarter lead. The first possession saw the Vols bolt 68 yards in six plays. UT's first scrimmage play was a 35-yard pass from Casey Clausen to Tony Brown. The TD play saw the two hook up again -- this time on a 16-yard toss on which Brown made a diving, juggling catch. Tennessee was at it again on possession No. 3, powering 64 yards in nine plays. Clausen hit James Banks for 17 yards, C.J. Fayton for 23 and Mark Jones for 13. Jabari Davis got the TD on a two-yard run and it was 14-0. The Vols marked again when Jones returned a Vandy punt 58 yards, boosting the lead to 21-0 with 1:03 left in the period.
KEY PLAY: When Clausen hit Brown with the 35-yard strike on Tennessee's first scrimmage play, it sent two messages: 1) The Vols weren't coming out flat and 2) Tennessee wasn't going to be predictable and run on first down every time. With Vandy on its heels, UT scored five plays later to take a 7-0 lead.
KEY PLAYER: Clausen and Jones (tie). Clausen completed 8 of 12 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. At this point, he was on pace to throw for 508 yards. All Jones did was return three punts for 89 yards (nearly 30 yards per), including a 58-yard scoring runback.
KEY STAT: Tennessee outgained the Commodores 140 yards to 46 in total offense.
RECAP: Tennessee opened the second period as it opened the first ... with a big passing play. Clausen hit Corey Larkins for 40 yards but UT tight end Victor McClure was flagged for a late hit that cost 15 yards. The Vols eventually settled for a 39-yard James Wilhoit field goal that widened the gap to 24-0. Tennessee needed just three plays to score on its next possession -- Clausen sandwiching a 16-yard pass to Bret Smith and a 38-yard TD strike to Chris Hannon around a no-gain run by Cedric Houston. Suddenly, it was 31-0. Tennessee wasn't finished, though. Mark Jones made another big play, returning n interception 51 yards to the Vandy 7-yard line. Tennessee scored four plays later on a Clausen sneak, and it was 38-0. Clausen was intercepted on the first play of UT's next possession, ending a school-record streak of 142 passes without an interception. (The old mark of 132 belonged to Peyton Manning.) Tennessee got the ball back with 43 seconds left to halftime, and Clausen hit Jayson Swain for 16 yards to set up a 41-yard field goal by Wilhoit that padded the lead to 41-0 seven seconds shy of halftime.
KEY PLAY: The 38-yard strike to Hannon widened Tennessee's bulge to 31-0 and showed that the Vols were not going to be content to sit on the lead ... nor were they going to call off the dogs with a BCS ranking at stake.
KEY PLAYER: Mark Jones gets the nod again. All he did in this period was return a punt 23 yards and return an interception 51 yards.
KEY STAT: Who needs balance? Tennessee gained 237 yards passing in the first half to a mere 30 yards rushing. Vandy, which was 0 for 8 on third-down conversion tries, couldn't move the ball through the air or on the ground, managing just 86 yards of total offense for the first two periods.
RECAP: After rushing for just 30 yards in the first half, the Vols got more than that on their first possession of the second half. Jabari Davis (three carries for 12 yards), Cedric Houston (two carries for eight yards), Will Revill (one carry for 10 yards), Clausen (one carry for 8 yards) and Gerald Riggs Jr. (three carries for 23 yards) combined for 61 rushing yards to fuel a 15-play, 87-yard TD drive that widened the gap to 48-0. The only pass completions on the drive were a 15-yarder to Mark Jones and a seven-yard scoring toss to Derrick Tinsley.
KEY PLAY: The TD pass to Tinsley scored six more points for Tennessee and surely scored some style points with the folks who vote in the national polls. UT's first nine possessions (not counting the punt return for TD) resulted in seven scores -- five touchdowns and two field goals.
KEY PLAYER: Riggs had back-to-back runs of seven and 17 yards, moving the ball from Vandy's 30-yard line to the 6 and putting the Vols in position to pad their lead.
KEY STAT: Vanderbilt ran 18 plays and gained a miniscule 34 yards (20 rushing, 14 passing).
RECAP: UT's shutout was in peril when Vandy drove to the Vol 26-yard line. Antwan Stewart intercepted Jay Cutler's errant aerial at the 3-yard line and returned it 38 yards to kill the scoring threat. Clausen took one snap on the ensuing possession, handed off to Riggs for an eight-yard gain, then headed for the sidelines to an appreciative ovation in his final home game. C.J. Leak directed the Vols the rest of the way. Corey Larkins made a 22-yard run to the Vandy 21 but fumbled and the Commodores recovered. Walk-on tailback David Yancey made some nice runs on UT's final possession and Leak completed passes of 19 yards to C.J. Fayton and nine yards to Chris Hannon, but a holding call stalled the drive.
KEY PLAY: Stewart's interception preserved Tennessee's third consecutive shutout of Vanderbilt, which has lost the last three meetings by scores of 38-0, 24-0 and 48-0.
KEY PLAYER: Stewart. Nobody else for either team did anything worthy of note in the period.
KEY STAT: Even with mostly reserve defenders in the lineup, Tennessee kept Vandy out of the end zone and limited the Commodores to 191 yards of total offense.