Recap: Vanderbilt vs. Massachusetts
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Ralph Webb rushed for 116 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with just over a minute remaining, as the Vanderbilt Commodores held on for a dramatic 34-31 victory over the Massachusetts Minutemen in a non-conference bout at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Patton Robinette completed 15-of-21 passes for 147 yards with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown for Vanderbilt (1-2), as Derek Mason claimed his first win as head coach.
Blake Frohnapfel threw for 205 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-34 passing for UMass (0-3). Rodney Mills caught three passes for 76 yards and two scores. Lorenzo Woodley had just 43 yards on 22 carries but scored a pair of touchdowns.
UMass got off to a fast start, staking claim to a 14-0 lead after one quarter. The Minutemen scored on their first drive on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Frohnapfel to Mills. They added to their lead less than four minutes later when Brian McDonald turned a fake-punt play into a 53-yard touchdown pass to Mills.
Vanderbilt cut its lead in half less than five minutes into the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Robinette.
Blake Lucas drilled a 32-yard field goal for the Minutemen with 8:43 to play in the half.
The Commodores' defense got into the act two minutes later by forcing a Woodley fumble, which was recovered by Adam Butler in the end zone for a touchdown. The score remained 17-13 in favor of UMass after Vanderbilt's two- point conversion attempt failed.
Woodley avenged his miscue on the Minutemen's next possession by capping off a nine-play, 78-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run.
The Commodores made their deficit just four, 24-20, heading into halftime after Robinette connected on a three-yard touchdown pass to Steven Scheu with just seven seconds left in the second quarter.
UMass padded its advantage early in the third quarter on another two-yard touchdown rush by Woodley.
Vanderbilt's struggling offense was bailed out again midway through the fourth quarter, this time by the special teams. Stephen Weatherly blocked a punt, recovered it and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown to make the Commodores' deficit five, 31-26. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt was no good.
The Commodores took their first lead of the game with 1:08 to play on a four- yard touchdown run by Webb. The score was set up by a 36-yard reception by C.J. Duncan, a play which appeared to be picked off by UMass before Duncan wrestled the ball away from the defender. The two-point conversion pass from Robinette to Duncan was successful and the home team took a three-point lead.
UMass set itself up in great position for a game-tying field goal attempt after fourth-down conversion kept its final possession alive and a pass interference call set the Minutemen up on the 5-yard line, but Lucas failed to send the game to overtime when he missed a 22-yard field goal.
Vanderbilt won in spite of its undisciplined play, as it committed a game-high nine penalties for 77 yards.Game Notes