Alabama vs.Vanderbilt

  Date: 9/8/2007  
  Score: 24-10  
  Alabama vs. Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Terry Grant ran 24 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns, and Alabama made Nick Saban a winner in his first road game with the Crimson

Tide with a 24-10 victory at Vanderbilt. Leigh Tiffin kicked three field goals, and Alabama (2-0, 1-0 in the SEC) won its Southeastern Conference opener with its 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. But they found themselves essentially playing a road game with Tide fans that followed Saban to Nashville for his first road trip painting Vanderbilt Stadium mostly crimson in a rare sellout. Alabama fans spent the final minutes cheering in the pouring rain.

Alabama rolled up 371 yards offense, including 221 on the ground. 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 of total offense through three quarters. Alabama also held two-time All-SEC receiver Earl Bennett to four catches for 52 yards.

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson was 14-of-28 for 150 yards and one interception. Receiver DJ Hall, who became only the second receiver in Alabama history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in career receiving yardage, had three receptions for 67 yards to give him 2,037 receiving yards for his career.

For the second week in a row, the Tide offense scored on the first play of the game, this time set up by a 69-yard punt return from sophomore Javier Arenas to the Vanderbilt one-yard line which led to a Grant score one play later. Alabama added Leigh Tiffin field goals of 20, 40, and 29 yards in the first half to build a 16-3 lead at intermission. Alabama took control in the second quarter, holding the ball for more than 12 minutes and rolling up 118 yards offense.

Wilson orchestrated an 86-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter thanks largely to 80 rushing yards from Grant, including a two-yard score with 14:19 left in the

game. Grant carried on the final six plays of the drive. A two-point conversion pass from Wilson to tight end Nick Walker extended Alabama’s lead to 24-3

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 Washington’s return. Pass interference on Bennett combined with an Alabama a face mask wiped out a 60-yard gain on Vandy’s first play from scrimmage.

Vanderbilt’s 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 Adams tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to George Smith midway through the fourth quarter.