NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jared Hawkins rushed for 107 yards and the Vanderbilt defense held Rice scoreless in the second half for a 38-21 victory on Saturday night.
The Commodores snapped a 21-21 halftime tie on Jamie Graham's 27-yard touchdown run with 11:41 left in the third quarter.
A third-quarter field goal and Chris Nickson's 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter helped Vanderbilt pull away.
Vanderbilt improved to 3-0 for only the third time since 1984.
Vanderbilt's D.J. Moore had 138 yards in return yardage, including a 67-yard punt return to the Rice 1-yard line to set up the final touchdown.
The teams combined for six touchdowns and 447 yards of offense in the first half.
Vanderbilt tied the game at 7-all on Sean Walker's 5-yard run.
The Owls raced ahead again at 14-7 late in the first quarter on Clement's 3-yard touchdown run.
The Commodores again answered on Nickson's 14-yard touchdown run, making it 14-all.
A 2-yard scoring run by James Casey late in the first half pushed Rice ahead 21-14, but the Commodores again tied the game with 15 seconds left before halftime on a 7-yard touchdown run by Hawkins.
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