Smith Named Specialist of the Week

First-year starting punter averaged 44.3 yards in win over Missouri

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt punter Harrison Smith was named Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday for his performance against Missouri.

Smith, a sophomore from Franklin, Tennessee, averaged 43.1 yards on eight punts against No. 22 Missouri, frequently pinning the Tiger offense in its own territory. He also enjoyed a 42.2-yard net punting average in the game.

Smith’s punting performance helped the Commodores earn their first victory against a ranked SEC opponent since the 2016 regular season finale when Vanderbilt defeated No. 24 Tennessee 45-34.

Two other Commodores, running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn and safety Tae Daley, were nominated for SEC weekly honors. Vaughn had 186 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in the win. Daley posted a career-high 11 tackles to aid a strong Commodore defensive effort.

Six of Smith’s punts against Missouri were 44 yards or longer. Three of his efforts were downed inside the Missouri 20-yard line, including a 49-yarder that forced the Tigers to start a critical fourth-quarter possession at their own 12-yard line.

Smith is the first Commodore to earn SEC weekly honors this season. In 2018, quarterback Kyle Shurmur, wide receiver C.J. Bolar, defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo and offensive lineman Justin Skule were recognized.

For the season, Smith is averaging 44.3 yards in his first year as the Commodores’ starting punter.

The 21-14 victory over Missouri also marked Vanderbilt’s first win over a nationally-ranked opponent since the Commodores defeated No. 18 Kansas State 14-7 on Sept. 16, 2017.

The Commodores are idle this week and return to action against South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, on Nov. 2.