Vandy shuts out Rice after halftime, moves to 3-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jared Hawkins rushed for 107 yards and the Vanderbilt defense held Rice scoreless in the second half for a 38-21 victory on Saturday night.

The Commodores snapped a 21-21 halftime tie on Jamie Graham's 27-yard touchdown run with 11:41 left in the third quarter.

A third-quarter field goal and Chris Nickson's 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter helped Vanderbilt pull away.

Vanderbilt improved to 3-0 for only the third time since 1984.

Vanderbilt's D.J. Moore had 138 yards in return yardage, including a 67-yard punt return to the Rice 1-yard line to set up the final touchdown.

The teams combined for six touchdowns and 447 yards of offense in the first half.

Rice's Chase Clement, who passed for 207 yards, gave Rice (2-1) a 7-0 lead when he hit Jarett Dillard on a 26-yard touchdown pass.

Vanderbilt tied the game at 7-all on Sean Walker's 5-yard run.

The Owls raced ahead again at 14-7 late in the first quarter on Clement's 3-yard touchdown run.

The Commodores again answered on Nickson's 14-yard touchdown run, making it 14-all.

A 2-yard scoring run by James Casey late in the first half pushed Rice ahead 21-14, but the Commodores again tied the game with 15 seconds left before halftime on a 7-yard touchdown run by Hawkins.