After holding Ole Miss on a fourth down, Vanderbilt drove 80 yards in 10 plays scoring on a Cassen Jackson-Garrison 8-yard run to extend their lead to 14-3.
Vanderbilt botched a field goal attempt with 30 seconds remaining in the first half.
Bryant Hahnfeldt's 24-yard field goal put Vanderbilt back up by a touchdown with 14:51 remaining in the game.
Vandy's D.J. Moore intercepted an Adams pass to set up another Jackson-Garrison score, this time from 9-yards to give the Commodores a 24-10 advantage with 12:58 remaining.
On the next drive Ole Miss' Brent Schaeffer completed a 54-yard bomb to Mike Wallace to bring the Rebels back to within a touchdown at 24-17.
Curtis Gatewood's big sack on an Ole Miss fourth-down conversion attempt gave the ball to Vanderbilt deep in Ole Miss territory with less than 3 minutes remaining. Jackson-Garrison then rumbled in for his third touchdown of the day to give Vanderbilt a 31-17 lead with just 1:47 remaining.
Ole Miss' Adams completed 10 of 17 passes for 154 yards, an interception and a touchdown. Vanderbilt's Nickson completed 17 of 25 passes for 200 yards.
Vanderbilt improves to 2-1 (1-1 SEC) with the win. The Commodores get a bye week next weekend before hosting Eastern Michigan in two weeks. Ole Miss drops to 1-2 (0-1 SEC). The Rebels host Florida next week in Oxford.
Mississippi linebacker Tony Fein, left, pulls down Vanderbilt running back Cassen Jackson-Garrison (22) during the first quarter of a college football game in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/John Russell)