Cassen Jackson-Garrison rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Vanderbilt to a 31-17 win over Mississippi on Saturday night at Vanderbilt Stadium.
With tailback Jeff Jennings out for the game with an ankle sprain, Jackson-Garrison seized the opportunity.
"I challenged myself all week to get the running game where it needed to be a be a better player," he said. "In the first two games, I didn't feel like I was doing what I needed to do."
Jackson-Garrison had rushed for only 50 yards in VU's first two games this season. On Saturday, the Commodores dominated the line of scrimmage and controlled the ball for 34:50 and ran 21 more plays then the Rebels.
"We came into the game knowing we wanted to run the ball and be physical," VU center Hamilton Holliday said. "That was our mindset, and we took take of business. We felt we were better than this team. If we did our job, we felt we would come out on top."
Vanderbilt improved to 2-1 and 1-1 in SEC play, while Ole Miss fell to 1-2 and 0-1. VU has a bye next week before hosting Eastern Michigan on Sept. 29.
The Commodores also got a strong defensive performance against Rebels tailback BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who was held to 66 yards after gaining 223 last week against Missouri.
Vanderbilt quarterback Chris Nickson, who missed practice time this week with a hamstring injury, completed 17 of 25 passes for 200 yards and no interceptions. Wide receiver Earl Bennett caught 11 passes for 100 yards.
The Commodores had a 200-yard passer, 100-yard receiver and 100-yard rusher in the same game for the first time since Sept. 17, 2005 against Ole Miss.
"I was very disappointed in the way we played," Rebels coach Ed Orgeron said. "We didn't play like we're capable of. It was frustrating to see them driving and running the ball. We tried to call everything we had, but we're inexperienced at linebacker."
GAME NOTES: Vanderbilt recorded seven quarterback sacks. ...Bennett recorded his ninth career game with 10 catches or more and ninth game with 100 receiving yards. Bennett also moved into seventh place all-time in the SEC with 189 receptions. The record is 208. ...Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss in Nashville in back-to-back games for the first time since 1982 and 1984.