Michigan tops Vanderbilt, 27-7

The Michigan Wolverines used a stifling defense to defeat Vanderbilt, 27-7, in the opener for both teams. Michigan shut down new Vanderbilt starting quarterback Chris Nickson. Nickson struggled throughout the day completing 11-25 passes for 99 yards. Nickson, who was sacked 6 times, also fumbled twice.

Michigan (1-0) opened up the scoring early with a 19-yard run by running back Kevin Grady. Vanderbilt, led by quarterback Chris Nickson, moved the ball to the Michigan 43 but was forced to punt on its first drive.

A Nickson fumble with 5:14 remaining in the first quarter set the Wolverines up for their second score. Garrett Rivas kicked a 33-yard field goal to give Michigan a 10-0 first quarter lead.

In the second quarter Michigan was poised for another field goal by Rivas but Vanderbilt's Jonathan Goff blocked the kick giving Vanderbilt the ball on the Vandy 41-yard-line. With 7:10 in the second half Vanderbilt got its first score of the 2006 season. Ironically it was wide receiver Earl Bennett throwing a 30-yard pass to Marlon White to bring Vandy to within 3 at 10-7.

Michigan added another Rivas field goal, this time from 48 yards, to put Michigan up 13-7 at the half.

In the second half Vanderbilt's offense continued to struggle with many dropped passes and sacks.

In the third quarter, Chad Henne completed a 14-yard pass to Tyler Ecker to extend Michigan's lead to 20-7. Henne struck again late in the fourth quarter when he found Mario Manningham for a 27-yard scoring pass.

Henne passed for 136 yards and two touchdowns on the day.

Mike Hart rushed for 136 yards to lead Michigan. Vanderbilt was led in rushing by Nickson with 16 rushes for 23 yards. Earl Bennett caught 6 passes for 58 yards to lead Vanderbilt in that department.

Vanderbilt drops to 0-10-1 in the all time series, which dates back to the early 1900s. Vanderbilt (0-1) travels to Tuscaloosa next weekend for a meeting with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

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