By Russell Lorentz, Vandy Insider

The Vanderbilt Commodores (4-5) erased a five game skid on Saturday, defeating the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 31-17 inside Vanderbilt Stadium.

Kyle Shurmur hit Trent Sherfield on a 4-yard scoring pass on Vanderbilt’s opening drive and the Commodores never trailed. The ‘Dores now look ahead to a matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats on Nov. 11.

Ralph Webb received the bulk of carries for the Commodores totaling 104 yards on 23 carries, paired with a touchdown. Notably, Webb moved past a pair of Tigers, LSU great Leonard Fournette and Auburn great Cadillac Williams. Webb now sits 11th all-time on the SEC career rushing list with 3,890 career yards.

Additionally, Webb now holds the school record for career touchdowns (31) but the Gainesville native prioritizes winning over individual accolades – he expressed his thoughts after the win against WKU.

Derek Mason was pleased as the Commodores are “moving the needle,” and the Commodore Head Coach reflected on Webb’s career as the senior begins to wind down his memorable Commodore career.

Trent Sherfield hauled in a touchdown reception and cashed in on a reverse from 48 yards to cap a 2 touchdown day.

But one play in particular was the turning point for Vanderbilt on Saturday before heading into halftime – the Commodores led 21-14 at the half.

Kyle Shumur tossed a pair of touchdowns – Shurmur’s 20 touchdowns are just two shy of Whit Taylor’s single season school record of 22 set in 1982.

Perhaps the most encouraging stat from Saturday’s victory – six sacks for the Commodore defense, a new season-high. Charles Wright was a definite presence as he reclaimed his sack lead in the SEC with 9 after a 2 sack performance.

Moreover, Vanderbilt’s defense held the Hilltoppers to -6 rush yards on 30 carries, the Commodores will face a heavy dose of Benny Snell next week against the Wildcats, but perhaps the win could jolt the defense.

A non-conference game was what the Commodores needed, as the squad heads into a final three-game stretch that ultimately will decide bowl eligibility. Although many believed the Commodores win total would increase from the 6-6 mark a season ago, the ‘Dores look to finish the season in style.

Vanderbilt will face Kentucky (5-3) this Saturday at 3 p.m. inside Vanderbilt Stadium.

Featured Image via Associated Press
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