MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur passed for 296 and three touchdowns Saturday night to give Commodores’ head coach Derek Mason his first season-opening win in a 28-6 victory over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.
Shurmur was nearly flawless early completing 13 of his first 14 passes including two touchdown strikes to Kalija Lipscomb as the Commodores built a 21-0 lead. The Blue Raiders’ defense would tighten up after that holding the ‘Dores to just a single touchdown the rest of the way, but the lead would prove to be insurmountable for a Middle Tennessee offense that was mostly stuck in neutral.
The Blue Raiders avoided the shutout early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Brent Stockstill found Richie James for a 22-yard touchdown. James was one of the lone bright spots for the Blue Raiders hauling in 10 catches for 112 yards to go along with the touchdown. James, who is just a junior, now has 15 100-yard receiving games, a new school record.
Vanderbilt will return to the field at home in Nashville Saturday against Alabama A&M. Middle, meanwhile, will make a road trip to Syracuse with former Orange head coach Scott Shafer now serving in the role as defensive coordinator for the Blue Raiders.
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