Vanderbilt crushes E. Michigan

Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 10:30pm

Earl Bennett caught nine passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, and the Vanderbilt defense forced five turnovers to lead the Commodores to a 30-7 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday night at Vanderbilt Stadium.

The Eagles (2-3) managed just 173 total offensive yards and lost to an SEC school for the third-straight time since 2001 to snap their two-game winning streak.

"We're very pleased with the way the defense played today, executing and getting turnovers and getting the ball back to the offense," VU linebacker Marcus Buggs said.

Bennett electrified a crowd of 37,220 with a 47-yard touchdown reception from Chris Nickson to give the Commodores (2-1) an early 10-0 lead. The two-time All-SEC receiver closed within 10 catches of breaking the SEC career record for receptions, held by Kentucky's Craig Yeast with 208.

Andy Schmitt was 13-for-24 with 111 yards passing for Eastern Michigan, which didn't cross midfield until halfway through the third quarter. Schmitt threw four interceptions, including one that D.J. Moore returned 24 yards for a touchdown to blow the game open 27-7.

Travis Lewis caught a 14-yard touchdown pass and Ken Bohnet added another 39 yards receiving for the Eagles, who abandoned the running game after just 8 yards on the ground in the first half.

Nickson was 14-for-28 with 168 yards passing to go along with two passing touchdowns, but tossed four interceptions.

"Chris isn't happy with the way he played, and we're not either," Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said. "But we're not going to throw him away. We're going to try to get him better."

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