NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jay Cutler ran for one touchdown and
threw for another as Vanderbilt snapped a 14-game losing streak
against Southeastern Conference Western Division teams with a 31-13
victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Commodores (1-3, 1-2) had lost four straight to the Bulldogs
(1-4, 0-3), but used a balanced option attack and capitalized on
five Mississippi State turnovers.
Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson had downplayed his team's use of
the option, but the Commodores repeatedly took advantage of an
unprepared Mississippi State defense for 28 consecutive points,
including 21 in the second quarter.
Cutler started the second-quarter scoring by faking an option
pitch to freeze defensive lineman Deljuan Robinson and then running
through a Mississippi State blitz for a 26-yard touchdown to make
He gave Vanderbilt a 24-7 halftime lead when he found receiver
Erik Davis on a slant across the middle for a 13-yard TD with 13
Cutler played sparingly in the second half, and finished with 49
yards rushing and 91 yards passing on 10 of 17 attempts.
Jerious Norwood scored both touchdowns for Mississippi State and
finished with 67 yards rushing. He put the Bulldogs up 7-3 in the
first quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run, but the Bulldogs did
little else right.
Kyle York, who was 16-of-32 for 127 yards in his first start for
the injured Omarr Conner, turned the ball over four times by
throwing three interceptions -- two by cornerback Bill Alford -- and
fumbling on a sack.
Backup Mike Henig also threw an interception in the third
quarter, and Matthew Tant scored on an 8-yard TD run two plays
later to give Vanderbilt a 31-7 lead.