Ainge, Coker lead Vol romp, 39-10

LaMarcus Coker (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE- Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge passed for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns and James Wilhoit kicked 4 field goals as Tennessee handed Vanderbilt its eighth loss of the 2006 season, 39-10.

Vanderbilt led briefly in the second quarter when George Smith caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Chris Nickson to cap a 15 play drive and make the score 7-6. However, Tennessee scored quickly on its next possession when Nashville native LeMarcus Coker vaulted into the end zone from 8 yards out to put the Vols back up 13-7. Tennessee would never look back and Coker would go on to rush for 129 yards including an 87-yard scoring run.

Vanderbilt's Chris Nickson was harassed and frustrated throughout the day. Nickson finished with 52 yards rushing and completed 10 of 23 passes for 97 yards and two costly interceptions. Earl Bennett was limited to 4 receptions for 16 yards.

It was the final game for 16 Vanderbilt seniors. Chris Booker, Steven Bright, Ray Brown, Sean Dixon, Funtaine Hunter, Patrick Johnson, Kevin Joyce, Kyle Keown, Ben Koger, Darnell Martemus, Mac Pyle, Adrian Reif, Bill Robertson, Leon Solimani, Brian Stamper and Marlon White were all honored during a pregame ceremony with their families.

Senior kicker Patrick Johnson closed his Commodore career by making a 21-yard field goal on Vanderbilt's final possession of the season. It was his first attempt of the season.

Vanderbilt finishes the 2006 season at 4-8 (1-7 SEC). Tennessee improves to 8-3 (4-3 SEC). The Vols close out their regular season on Saturday at home against Kentucky at home.


Vanderbilt linebacker Brandon Bryant (35) tries unsuccessfully to bat down a pass thrown by Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge (10) in the second quarter of a college football game in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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