Only 18 FBS teams saw action on Saturday for what we like to call Week 0.
The most lopsided victory came from a program that has had its fair share of trouble finding victories in general. In one of just seven matchups of FBS teams, Vanderbilt left the mainland and blasted Hawaii, 63-10.
As a result, Vanderbilt is the first team of 2022 to earn the distinction of “Fifth Quarter/CFBHome Team of the Week.”
Early on, there was plenty of reason for fans back in Nashville to be anxious. Hawaii went 75 yards in eight plays for a touchdown on its opening drive while Vanderbilt’s first two possessions ended on a punt and a turnover on downs.
From there, however, it was all Commodores. Vanderbilt responded with touchdowns on six of its next seven possessions, including four straight to start the second half. The Commodores scored 35 points in the third quarter.
The Commodores were one of three FBS teams to finish with more than 600 yards of total offense this week and one of two to eclipse 400 yards rushing. Quarterback Mike Wright finished with four total touchdowns for the Vanderbilt offense. Wright passed for 146 yards while adding 163 on the ground.
Each of Wright’s two touchdown passes went to Will Sheppard. Offensively, Vandy played mistake-free. Defensively, Anfernee Orji and CJ Taylor each returned fumbles for touchdowns. Vanderbilt held the Rainbow Warriors to 5-for-16 on third down conversion attempts and 0-for-4 on fourth down.
A Long Time Coming
For Vanderbilt, Saturday’s victory was just the third under head coach Clark Lea. Going back to 2018, it was just the second win on the road.
Vanderbilt had not dominated in the fashion it did in Honolulu in a long, long time. The 53-point win was its largest margin of victory since beating Presbyterian 58-0 to open the 2012 season.
The 63 points scored was the most against an FBS opponent since putting up 68 points in a shutout of Louisville in 1941. It was the most in general since a 63-8 win over Davidson in 1969.
Now 1-0, Vanderbilt will look to start 2-0 for the first time since 2018 on Saturday when it hosts Elon. The contest at Vanderbilt Stadium begins at 7 p.m. ET and will stream on SEC Network+.
Hawaii will aim for its first win under new head coach and former record-breaking quarterback Timmy Chang on Saturday when it hosts Western Kentucky. That one is slated for 11:59 p.m. ET.
Featured image via Vanderbilt athletics