Mike Wright

Every week, the Nashville Post will have a roundup of the weekend's Nashville-area college football games, including top performers and takeaways, as well as updates from around the state and on local players.

Let's take a look back at the slate from week 12 of the college football season.  

Vandy knocks off No. 24 Kentucky to end SEC skid

It was a weekend full of streak-busting for Vanderbilt. The Commodores (4-6, 1-5) upset No. 24 Kentucky 24-21 on the road on Saturday. The win was not only Vanderbilt's first versus an SEC school since a win over Missouri in October 2019, ending a 26-game losing streak, but it also ended losing streaks of 28 versus Power 5 opponents and 16 on the road at SEC programs. 

Mike Wright was back in as the starter at quarterback, and the junior came through with an impressive performance. Wright scored the game's first touchdown on a 59-yard run in the first quarter and the contest's final touchdown, a game-winning toss Will Sheppard with 32 seconds left. 

In all, Wright finished 12-23 for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception and rushed for 126 yards and the score on 11 carries to keep Vanderbilt alive on the quest for bowl eligibility. Running back Ray Davis had another strong game as well, compiling 129 yards on 26 rushes with one score. 

Tennessee hangs 66 on Missouri  

The Vols (9-1, 5-1) looked to be on a mission on Saturday following last week's loss to Georgia. Tennessee uncorked 66 points on Missouri in a 42-point win. It was the offense's third time scoring over 60 points this season, the most in the FBS, and fifth time scoring over 50, which is tied for the most in the country. 
With their chances of making the SEC championship game slim at best, the Vols will have to continue winning impressively for a shot at making the College Football Playoff. Hendon Hooker also got back on track Saturday, finishing 25-35 for 355 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions to go along with 50 yards and a score on the ground.
Jalin Hyatt continued to prove himself as the potential frontrunner for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, catching seven passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, while Princeton Fant continued to be a lethally efficient touchdown machine, scoring on both on his catches. 

MTSU now one win away from bowl eligibility

Middle Tennessee (5-5, 2-4) took care of business against a hapless Charlotte squad on Saturday, winning 24-14 to move one win closer to bowl eligibility. It would be the second year in a row the Blue Raiders have made it to a bowl following last season's 31-24 win over Toledo in the Bahamas Bowl.

Perhaps more impressively, MT won without starting quarterback Chase Cunningham or playmaking receiver and return man Jaylin Lane. Running back Frank Peasant picked up the slack, notching 84 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. 

In the final two weeks of the regular season, the Blue Raiders host Florida Atlantic and travel to Florida International. They will need at least a split of those two games to become bowl eligible. 

Austin Peay dominates KSU, inches closer to postseason

Speaking of the postseason, Austin Peay (7-3, 3-2) moved closer to a spot in the 24-team FCS tournament on Saturday with a 31-14 win over Kennesaw State.

Jacksonville State and Central Arkansas will play in a de facto ASUN championship game next weekend to clinch the conference's auto bid, but Austin Peay is still alive in the at-large bid discussion

Freshman running back Jevon Jackson scored two touchdowns and ran for 79 yards on 10 carries, while senior defensive back Demetries Ford twice intercepted KSU quarterback and Pearl-Cohn alum Xavier Shepherd. 

TSU falls to OVC-leading UT-Martin

It was another tough week for Tennessee State (3-7, 2-3) as the Tigers' losing streak was extended to three games after falling to UT-Martin 20-3 at home.

The Skyhawks, tied for first in the OVC with SEMO, scored two touchdowns in the first quarter to gain control of the game. 

Cane Ridge alum Jashun Bryant notched his second interception of the season in the loss.