OXFORD, Ohio -- Quarterback Chris Nickson rushed for a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns and passed for another TD to lead Vanderbilt to a 34-13 victory over Miami of Ohio in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.
An interception and a punt return by D.J. Moore lead to 10 Vanderbilt points during a six-minute span of the first quarter as the Commodores pulled away.
The victory was the first for Vanderbilt since Oct. 27, when it beat Miami 24-13. Vanderbilt then needed one more victory to become bowl eligible, but lost the final four games of the regular season.
Miami's only lead Thursday night came on a 37-yard field goal by Nathan Parseghian early in the first quarter.
Vanderbilt when ahead 7-3 when Nickson and Sean Walker hooked up for a 49-yard completion and then a 4-yard touchdown pass.
Moore's interception on the RedHawks' ensuing possession led to a 42-yard field goal by Bryant Hahnfeldt. Moore later returned a punt 91 yards to the Miami 1, and Nickson plunged in from there to put the Commodores on top 17-3.
The RedHawks answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Raudabaugh to Eugene Harris. But Vanderbilt countered in just three plays, including a 59-yard run by Nickson and a 14-yard touchdown run by Nickson.
Nickson was 9-of-16 for 91 yards.
Raudabaugh was 19-of-41 for 244 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Miami has lost running back Gus Edwards for the entire season because of a left foot injury.
Virginia Tech will wear a decal on its helmets against No. 1 Ohio State on Monday night to honor slain Roanoke television journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward.
South Carolina football players will wear stickers on their helmets this season to honor the nine people who died in a shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston this past June.
Washington has found its starting quarterback, but coach Chris Petersen said the Huskies will keep that information under wraps until Friday's season opener at No. 23 Boise State.
Joey Counts scored on a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal with 2 seconds left to give Montana a 38-35 victory over four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State on Saturday.
Transfer Vernon Adams will be the starting quarterback when Oregon begins its season against Eastern Washington on Sept. 5.