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Vanderbilt wins on Senior Day, beats ETSU 38-0

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About a dozen of you watched it.

East Tennessee State v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Vanderbilt Commodores won, but the big story before the Commodores took the field to play the East Tennessee State Buccaneers was the crowd.

So you could perhaps see how fans viewed a team that came into this game with a 2-8 record on the season and that had announced earlier this week that its head coach would be returning for the 2020 season. (Somehow, Vanderbilt announced this crowd as 19,368.)

But on to the game, where Vanderbilt slowly but surely established its superiority over the last-place team in the Southern Conference. On its first offensive drive of the game, Vanderbilt remembered that Jared Pinkney existed, with Riley Neal hitting him on a 31-yard touchdown pass that somehow was his Pinkney’s first touchdown of the season, giving the Commodores a 7-0 lead. But three of Vanderbilt’s remaining four drives of the first half would be three and outs; the lone exception ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Ke’Shawn Vaughn to make it 14-0 at halftime.

Vaughn opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0. A Ryley Guay 40-yard field goal extended the lead to 24-0, and Pinkney caught his second touchdown pass of the game late in the third quarter. Late in the game, walk-on running back Mitchell Pryor scored a 31-yard touchdown, the first of his Vanderbilt career, making the final score 38-0.

The Commodores ended the game with 418 yards of total offense to East Tennessee State’s 105 — nine of them in the second half. Ke’Shawn Vaughn had 14 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown in his final home game; Jared Pinkney had five catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Vanderbilt closes its season at Tennessee next Saturday.