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.
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.
New coach Marcus Freeman aims to lead Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program to 'greatest heights'
Marcus Freeman was formally introduced Monday as Notre Dame's 30th head football coach and said he's "ready to lead this program to the greatest heights."
Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Kenny Pickett, Aidan Hutchinson named Heisman Trophy finalists for 2021
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud were announced Monday as the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Brent Venables energizes Oklahoma fans at introduction
Brent Venables juices the crowd as he claims he is the perfect choice to lead Oklahoma from the Big 12 into the SEC
How can Aggies dominate in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl?
The SEC Now crew looks to how No. 25 Texas A&M will respond following three losses and details how important the run game will be against No. 17 Wake Forest.
New Oklahoma Sooners football coach Brent Venables preaches values, loyalty
Brent Venables described himself as "a simple guy" and said he is passionate "about winning the right way" at his introductory news conference on Monday.
Texas football's offensive linemen secure NIL deal, will get $50,000 annually to aid charitable causes
Through a movement called "Horns with Heart," 16 offensive linemen at Texas will each receive $50,000 annually to aid charities through a name, image and likeness deal.