Vanderbilt shuts out Alabama A&M, 42-0

NASHVILLE - The way Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason sees it, quarterback Kyle Shurmur's feet are turning his arm into quite a weapon.

Shurmur completed 15-of-18 passes for 202 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday, leading the Commodores to a 42-0 smashing of Alabama A&M. Vanderbilt improved to 2-0 for the first time under the fourth-year head coach.

In his first two games this season, Shurmur has completed 35-of-44 passes for 498 yards and seven touchdowns. He also ran for a score against Alabama A&M (0-2).

"I think for (Shurmur), it's just his footwork and his ability to deliver the ball," Mason said. "He's moving his feet in the direction of where he needs to throw. That's where the accuracy comes from.

"He's coming from a better platform. He's not leaning. He's stepping into throws."

Shurmur set a school record with an 83.3 percent completion rate against the Bulldogs, breaking the previous mark of 81.1 percent set by Hank Lesesne against Georgia in 1961. This season has been a continuation of the last four games of last year for Shurmur, who threw for 1,162 yards combined in those contests.

"We're really trying hard as quarterbacks to take pride in our footwork," Shurmur said. "Everything comes from the ground up. In terms of the run game as well, we have to be on the right tracks and give the running backs the best alleys, so they can make plays as well. It's really important to have good footwork."

Vanderbilt's defense was every bit as impressive as Shurmur and the offense. The Commodores piled up three sacks, posted two interceptions, held the Bulldogs to just 103 total yards and recorded their first shutout since beating Kentucky 40-0 in 2012.

Vandy's special teams chipped in with one blocked punt and another deflected punt, pleasing the sparse home crowd of 25,802.

"This is a three-phase game," Shurmur said. "I think the defense did a great job. The shutout is awesome. Special teams, they made a bunch of plays in terms of field position. It felt like we had a short field on offense a bunch. I thought we did a lot of good things on offense."

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