Vanderbilt couldn't get much going in the first quarter against Austin Peay. Once the first period ran out, so did the 'Dores drought.
Vandy used a 35-point second quarter to blow their FCS opponent off the field in a 38-3 rout. Austin Peay struggled to get anything going - failing to gain a first down in the first half - thanks to a stout effort from the Commodore defense. The Commodores improved to 1-1 with the win, while APSU dropped to 0-2.
It took the 'Dores a while to get started as the sun set on Dudley Field. A pair of three-and-out possessions, sandwiched around a 25-yard Carey Spear field goal, had the Governors in the game early despite their anemic offense. However, once the clock ran out on that first 15 minutes of play, Vanderbilt turned things up a notch.
Brian Kimbrow capped off a 74-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run, and one Austin Peay three-and-out later, Austyn Carta-Samuels hit Jonathan Krause with a 56-yard pass to take the ball down to the visitor's four-yard-line. That set up a one-yard Carta-Samuels run to make it 17-0 barely 20 minutes into this contest. When the 'Dore defense held steady once again, Vandy capitalized with a five-play, 51-yard sequence to effectively put this one away at 24-0.
That wasn't enough for James Franklin's starters, though. Another Austin Peay punt led to a beautiful deep ball that floated into Jordan Matthews's hands in the end zone to push the Vandy lead to 31. One missed Spear field goal and APSU fumble later, Carta-Samuels went spinning over the goal line to make it 38-0 at the half.
That was a big enough cushion for many of Vanderbilt's starters to call it a day. Redshirt sophomore Josh Grady replaced Carta-Samuels at QB in the third quarter, and other young players like Jordan Cunningham, Trent Pruitt, Derek King, Patton Robinette, and Trey Wilkins all found the field as this game wore down. Cunningham had seven catches for 67 yards in just the second game of his NCAA career, emerging as a solid third receiver for the 'Dores.
The Governors finished up the first half with 25 yards of total offense. Many of their struggles came against players that make up the right side of Vanderbilt's depth chart. Backups Jimmy Stewart (two sacks, two additional tackles for loss), Kellen Williams, and Paris Head proved that they are ready for bigger roles in the Commodore defense by blanketing APSU all night.
Austin Carta-Samuels continued his dominance over outmatched FCS teams with a 14-22, 223-yard performance in just one half of play. That followed up his lone start of 2012, a 195-yard showing in a 58-0 win over Presbyterian. ACS showed off a diverse offensive game, placing deep passes where they needed to be and finding the end zone on the ground when called on. Carta-Samuels ran for 23 yards on the day, adding a pair of touchdowns in the process.
Vanderbilt will have a tougher test in store next week. They'll face South Carolina on the road in a rematch of last year's season opener.