Vanderbilt 24, Miami (Ohio) 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Vanderbilt's Earl Bennett became the leading receiver in Southeastern Conference history on Saturday, making eight catches to help the Commodores to a 24-13 victory over Miami (Ohio).
The junior has 215 catches, breaking Craig Yeast's mark of 208.
"I think it's pretty remarkable to pass that in two and a half years," Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said. "He's been extremely consistent, works hard and has been a total team player. I'm happy for Earl. I'm glad to see his name at the top."
Bennett entered the game with 46 receptions this season, the second-highest in the Southeastern Conference. He is attempting to lead the league in catches for the third consecutive season.
"It means a lot," said Bennett, who finished with 85 yards receiving. "I never thought I would be in this position."
The RedHawks (4-5) led 13-10 midway through the third quarter, but the Commodores surrendered just 86 yards of total offense after that. Miami rushed for only 26 yards for the day. Vanderbilt also recorded five sacks.
It was the second straight strong second-half showing by Vandy's defense, ranked No. 19 nationally. Last week, the Commodores blanked South Carolina in the second half en route to a 17-6 win.
At 5-3, Vanderbilt is one win from bowl eligibility. The Commodores have not played in the postseason since 1982.
Vanderbilt took the lead for good at 17-13 with 4:54 remaining in the third quarter when reserve quarterback Chris Nickson capped a 70-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Starter Mackenzi Adams left the game because of a chest injury earlier in the quarter and did not return.
With the Vanderbilt defense in control, the Commodores put the game away with 6:46 left when tailback Cassen Jackson-Garrison scored on a 14-yard run, pushing the score to 24-13.
Three straight Vanderbilt turnovers in the second quarter helped allow Miami to grab a 10-7 halftime lead.
First, Adams was intercepted in the RedHawks' end zone by Jordan Gafford. Next Jared Hawkins fumbled at the Commodores' 46-yard line. Then, Vanderbilt's Thomas Welch fumbled a kickoff return at his own 38.
The score went up 10-7 with 6:16 left before halftime when quarterback Daniel Radabaugh connected with Jamal Rogers for a 40-yard touchdown pass on third-and-15.
Vanderbilt tied it on a 27-yard field goal by Bryant Hahnfeldt with 0:16 left in the half.
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