Vandy frosh backs deliver double KOs
Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009 3:38 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — Warren Norman ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns to lead Vanderbilt to a 45-0 victory over Western Carolina on Saturday night.
Norman, a freshman tailback, scored on runs of two and nine yards. Fellow freshman Zac Stacy rushed for 133 yards on 20 attempts. Norman and Stacy are the first freshmen in Vanderbilt history to run for more than 100 yards in the same game.
It was the first time any two Commodore runners gained more than 100 yards in the same game since Sept. 21, 2002, when Kwane Doster and Norval McKenzie did it in a loss to Mississippi.
Larry Smith completed 10-of-18 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game with dehydration and cramps with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
After starting Vanderbilt’s Music City Bowl victory over Boston College last December, Smith was named this season’s starter by Commodores coach Bobby Johnson earlier in the week.
One of Johnson’s reasons for selecting Smith, a redshirt sophomore, over Mackenzi Adams and Jared Funk was Smith’s strong arm and ability to throw the ball downfield.
Adams came into the game following Smith’s injury, and Funk played the final two series.
Smith found Justin Green on a 46-yeard touchdown pass to open the scoring. Green tipped the ball to himself at the goal line before corralling it in the end zone.
The touchdown catch was Green’s first. He had four receptions as a redshirt freshman in 2007, but failed to record a catch in limited action as a sophomore last season.
Vanderbilt was the 117th-ranked offense in 2008, averaging just 256.2 yards per game, but the Commodores surpassed 300 yards before halftime against Western Carolina.
Vanderbilt carried a 21-0 lead into halftime after touchdown runs by Norman and Stacy. Norman’s seven-yard touchdown run capped a five-play, 57-yard drive that took just 1:30.
On the first play of the second quarter, Stacy’s nine-yard touchdown concluded an 80-yard drive that spanned 2:26.
Catamounts quarterback Zack Jaynes was 13-for-26 for 74 yards and one interception. Michael Johnson was the leading rusher with 46 yards on 13 carries.
Western Carolina has lost 20 of its past 21 road games.
The Catamounts had won four of their previous five season openers prior to Saturday.