Freshman QB Swann leads Vanderbilt past Northern Illinois

Sep 17, 2022, 4:00 AM | Updated: 4:54 pm

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Freshman quarterback AJ Swann threw four touchdown passes and Vanderbilt rallied to a 38-28 non-conference victory over Northern Illinois on Saturday.

Swann, making his third appearance and first career start, engineered a comeback from a two-touchdown deficit as the Commodores (3-1) scored 24 unanswered points in the second half. He completed 18 of 28 passes for 255 yards and the four scores.

Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea said he decided at midweek to start Swann over veteran Mike Wright.

“We weren’t playing well enough on offense (in previous games) to not look at what we could do to move forward,” Lea said. “We knew we had to open up and see if there was an answer for us. We’ve seen (AJ) in practice. He’s been a consistent playmaker for us in practice and a guy that has shown command of an offense. I’m pleased that he was able to show up today.”

Northern Illinois (1-2) suffered its second straight loss as starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi left the game in the second quarter with an unspecified injury.

Trailing by two touchdowns in the third quarter, Swann cut the margin to 28-21 with 6:44 left as he scrambled to find running back Ray Davis on fourth down for a 21-yard score.

Vanderbilt then forced a 28-28 deadlock with Swann’s 31-yard TD pass to Will Sheppard with 4:36 showing. Swann and Sheppard combined again on a 13-yard strike and a 35-28 lead with 1:11 left in the quarter.

Kicker Joseph Bulovas made it 38-28 with his 35-yard field goal early in the fourth.

Sheppard closed with 10 receptions for 171 yards.

Vanderbilt improved to 5-0 all-time against Northern Illinois.

Huskies backup quarterback Ethan Hampton, who went 12 of 19 for 124 yards and two touchdowns, combined with wide receiver Tucker Cole on a 70-yard touchdown pass for a 28-14 lead in the third quarter but the Huskies were shut out the rest of the way.

“I thought he (Hampton) handled it well,” Northern Illinois coach Thomas Hammock said. “I thought he was prepared and he’s taken a lot of snaps. Obviously he’s played just one game of football for us but he came in and was able to execute the offense. But when your backup quarterback comes in everybody else around him has to play better.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Vanderbilt: Swann relieved Wright late in last week’s 45-25 loss to Wake Forest and earned the start this week. He went 8 of 11 for 146 yards and two touchdowns against the Demon Deacons.

Northern Illinois: The Huskies celebrated the 10th anniversary of their 2012-13 Orange Bowl season on Saturday, welcoming nearly 40 players back from a 12-2 team that suffered a 31-10 bowl loss to Florida State.

UP NEXT

Vanderbilt: The Commodores travel to No. 2 Alabama, the reigning SEC champions, in a conference opener on Saturday.

Northern Illinois: The Huskies close their non-conference season against another SEC foe, at No. 9 Kentucky on Saturday.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Turkey OKs sending troops to Qatar for World Cup security

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday approved deploying Turkish soldiers to Qatar to help maintain security during next month’s World Cup. With a show of hands, lawmakers approved a motion to send an unspecified number of troops to the Gulf country for six months. Fikri Isik, a ruling party legislator and former Turkish […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Marathon at 2024 Paris Olympics announced; lots of uphill

PARIS (AP) — The marathon course at the 2024 Paris Olympics will include a strength-draining 438 meters of uphill racing, a punishing test of endurance that organizers proudly described Wednesday as “a challenge without precedent.” And for the first time at the Olympics, female marathoners will get the privilege of competing last, on the final […]
1 day ago
FILE - San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, second from left, is mobbed by teammates aft...
Associated Press

No-No Joe Musgrove wants a championship for hometown Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joe Musgrove took a moment away from the mayhem of the clubhouse celebration after the San Diego Padres clinched a playoff spot to reflect on where his career has been and where he wants it to go. The big right-hander will forever be remembered as the hometown kid who threw the […]
1 day ago
Portuguese Soccer Federation President Fernando Gomes, left, President of the Spanish Royal Federat...
Associated Press

Ukraine links World Cup host bid to beating horrors of war

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Hosting World Cup matches in 2030 would be “the dream of people who survived the horrors of war,” Ukrainian soccer federation president Andriy Pavelko said Wednesday after his country launched a joint bid with Spain and Portugal. The leaders of the three soccer federations joined together at UEFA headquarters to present […]
1 day ago
Men weep as they offer prayer outside Kanjuruhan Stadium where a soccer stampede killed more than 1...
Associated Press

Indonesian leader says locked gates contributed to deaths

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that locked gates had contributed to the crush at the soccer stadium that left 131 dead and over 400 injured when police fired tear gas and set off a panicked run for the exits. Widodo made the statement after touring the Kanjuruhan soccer stadium […]
1 day ago
Fans reach for a foul ball by New York Yankees' Aaron Judge during the second inning in the second ...
Associated Press

Fan who caught Judge’s 62nd HR unsure what he’ll do with it

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — As he walked through a concourse in the outfield at Globe Life Field, high-fiving with fans and surrounded by a sea of cameras, it was almost as if Cory Youmans had hit a huge home run. Instead, he hit the jackpot. Youmans made the catch of a lifetime Tuesday night, snagging […]
1 day ago
Freshman QB Swann leads Vanderbilt past Northern Illinois