KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt saw it’s three-game winning streak against Tennessee come to an end as the Commodores lost 28-10 at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
Vandy (3-9, 1-7 SEC) had a 3-0 lead early, but then gave up 21 unanswered points – including 14 in the second quarter. Tennessee ended its regular season at 7-5 and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference.
The Commodores trailed 21-3 going into the final frame, but got a touchdown pass from Riley Neal to Kalija Lipscomb from 22 yards out with 11:34 to play making it a 21-10 game. Tennessee answered with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that took four minutes and put the Volunteers up 28-10 on Eric Gray’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Gray finished with 246 yards on 25 carries and scored three times.
Vanderbilt had some early momentum thanks to its defense in the first quarter. Freshman cornerback Jaylen Mahoney picked off Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano on the day’s third offensive play at the Tennessee 31.
The Commodores wound up turning that into a 41-yard field goal from Ryley Guay and took a 3-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Tennessee responded at the 3:04 mark of the first quarter thanks to Gray’s 56-yard touchdown run. That gave the Volunteers a 7-3 lead going into the second quarter.
Guarantano gave Tennessee a 14-3 lead early in the second thanks to a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dom Wood-Anderson. Then Gray broke a 94-yard touchdown run with 8 1/2 minutes to play in the half putting the Volunteers ahead 21-3.
Gray finished his first half with 181 yards on 11 carries as the Volunteers took that 18-point lead into the break.
Neal finished with 139 yards on 14 of 29 passing. Freshman running back Keyon Brooks had 70 yards on 13 carries.