KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Kyle Shurmur threw four touchdown passes and Ralph Webb rushed for 163 yards Saturday as Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 42-24 to continue its recent run of success in this rivalry.
Vanderbilt (5-7, 1-7 SEC) has beaten Tennessee (4-8, 0-8) four of the last six years after going 1-28 against the Volunters from 1983-2011. The Commodores are enjoying the most success they’ve had in this series since winning six straight over Tennessee from 1920-26.
Tennessee’s loss capped a hugely disappointing season that resulted in the firing of coach Butch Jones earlier this month.
After opening the year in the Top 25, Tennessee ended up with its first eight-loss season in school history. The Vols also went winless in SEC competition for the first time since the league’s formation in 1933.
Shurmur went 20 of 31 for 283 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Trent Sherfield and one each to Kalija Lipscomb and C.J. Duncan.
Webb had touchdown runs of 2 and 20 yards to increase his career total to 32, breaking Vanderbilt’s career record. Zac Stacy ran for 30 career touchdowns at Vanderbilt from 2009-12.
In what was likely his final game at Vanderbilt, Webb’s big day gave him 4,173 career yards rushing to move into sixth place on the SEC’s all-time list. Webb began the weekend in ninth place but overtook Florida’s Errict Rhett (4,163 yards from 1989-93), LSU’s Dalton Hilliard (4,050, 1982-85) and LSU’s Charles Alexander (4,035, 1975-78) on Saturday.
Vanderbilt scored touchdowns on its first three possessions to take a 21-14 halftime lead.
The Vols cut the lead to 21-17 late in the third quarter on Aaron Medley’s career-long, 49-yard field goal, as Vanderbilt lost the ball in downs in Tennessee territory on each of its first two second-half possessions.
But the Commodores responded with 21 straight points to put the game away.
Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano went 14 of 22 for 183 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Brandon Johnson had six catches for 107 yards.