The 2019 campaign for the ETSU Buccaneer football team came to a close in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday afternoon as the Bucs dropped a 38-0 contest to Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt. With the loss, the Bucs fall to 3-9 to close the door on the season.
The Commodores jumped on the scoreboard first in their first drive of the game following a 31-yard find from Riley Neal to Jared Pinkney for the early 7-0 lead.
ETSU attempted to get on the board with a 29-yard field goal attempt from Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) but the attempt was blocked at the line to hold the Bucs scoreless.
Vanderbilt took the pigskin to the house on its very next drive, capping off a 9-play, 86-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run from Ke’Shawn Vaughn. The Commodores carried the 14-0 lead into the locker room.
Vanderbilt scored on four of its six drives in the second half, including a 75-yard run by Vaughn on the first play from scrimmage to open the third quarter. The Commodores opened the gates with 17 points in the third quarter to stretch its lead to 31-0 before punching in the final touchdown with 2:03 remaining in the game for the 38-0 victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Vanderbilt 7, ETSU 0: The Commodores struck on their first possession of the game, taking the ball 63 yards on seven plays. Vanderbilt scored as Jared Pinkney hauled in a 31-yard pass from Riley Neal for the quick advantage.
Vanderbilt 14, ETSU 0: Following a blocked field goal, the Commodores turned in a 9-play, 74-yard drive to double their lead to 14 following a two-yard touchdown run from Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
Vanderbilt 21, ETSU 0: Vaughn extended the Vanderbilt lead once again, this time on the first play from scrimmage in the second half with a 75-yard touchdown run.
Vanderbilt 24, ETSU 0: The Commodores scored on their second consecutive drive in the second half with a 40-yard field goal from Ryley Guay, concluding a 12-play, 47-yard drive.
Vanderbilt 31, ETSU 0: Pinkney registered his second receiving touchdown of the game, a 7-yard pass from Neal. Pinkney’s touchdown was set up by a 43-yard haul on the previous play from Kalija Lipscomb.
Vanderbilt 38, ETSU 0: The Commodores crossed the pylons for the final time late in the fourth quarter after Mitchell Pryor found the gap and scampered for 31 yards into the ETSU endzone.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
With the loss, ETSU falls to 0-6 on the road this season and 0-5 all-time against SEC opponents.
The Bucs dropped to 33-49-2 all-time in regular-season finales, including 2-3 since the return of football in 2015…ETSU has dropped three consecutive regular-season finales.
Keltner’s blocked 29-yard field goal attempt was ETSU’s second blocked attempt of the season. The two blocked field goals tie the 2015 and 2017 seasons for most blocked field goals (2) in a season since the return of football.
ETSU gained just nine yards of offense in the second half, recording their lowest output in a single half on the season…The previous season-low was 53 yards against Wofford in the first half (October 5th).
ETSU’s -11 yards in the third quarter is the fewest gained in a single quarter this season since mustering up just 13 yards of offense against Wofford in the first quarter.
Jacob Saylors (Jasper, Tenn.) finished with a season-high 14 carries for 51 yards.
ETSU finished the game with 105 total yards of offense, the lowest margin on the season…Since the return of football, the 105 yards of offense ranks second-fewest yards gained since only recording 76 yards at Wofford in 2016.
In the five seasons since ETSU football returned, all five games with the lowest offensive yards came on the road, twice being against SEC teams in the last two seasons.
In the six scoring drives for Vanderbilt, the Commodores ran 35 plays for 369 yards, 10.5 yards per play…In the remaining 23 plays, the Bucs only allowed 26 yards for an average of 1.1 yards per play.
Artevius Smith (Birmingham, Ala.) led the Bucs in tackles with eight, capping off his season with a team-best 88 tackles on the season.
Jalen Porter (Gallatin, Tenn.) and Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.) each finished the game with one sack.
Tonight’s 38-0 loss marks the first shutout since September 14, 2016 where the Bucs lost 31-0 to Wofford.
ETSU has failed to score 10 points on just two occasions on the year, both being against FBS teams (Appalachian State and Vanderbilt).