Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SEC [Print without images]

Sunday, September 11, 2011
Commodores off to a 2-0 start

By Chris Low

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin insisted when he took the job that he didn't care what the Commodores hadn't been able to do in football.

All he cared about was what they were going to do.

Well, two games into the 2011 season, they're unbeaten after rallying past Connecticut 24-21 on Saturday.

There's a lot to be excited about right now if you're a Vanderbilt fan. But right at the top of the list is the fact that this team knows how to finish games.

That was the case in the opener when Vanderbilt pulled away and dominated the second half against Elon, and the Commmodores did it again Saturday by scoring 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

No play was any bigger than Casey Hayward's 50-yard interception return for a touchdown to tie the game at 21-21 with 6:45 to play.

And speaking of defense, Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop kept the pressure on the entire game. Not only did the Commodores keep the Huskies' offense from scoring a touchdown, but they scored a defensive touchdown of their own thanks to Hayward's pick-6.

Vanderbilt finished the game with five sacks and also forced four turnovers.

It's the first two-game winning streak for the Commodores since 2008 and sets up what will be a huge game for them next week at home against Ole Miss.