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ETSU Gets Signature SEC Win over Vandy

By BJ Bennett
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The Buccaneers didn't just make history, they made it quite convincingly.

 One game into the 2021 fall schedule, East Tennessee State has a landmark victory. The Buccaneers earned their first win over a team from a Power Five conference since 1987 with a 23-3 triumph over SEC foe Vanderbilt. It was a game the visitors from Johnson City took control off in the second quarter. After the Commodores opened the scoring with a long field goal in the first frame, ETSU responded with 23 unanswered points the rest of the way.

The Buccaneers didn't just make history, they made it quite convincingly.

Star running back Quay Holmes rushed 23 times for 149 yards, multiple highlight-reel runs included. Quarterback Tyler Riddell threw a touchdown pass to Malik Murray. Kicker Tyler Tyler Keltner converted all three of his field goal attempts. And, in perhaps the play of the game, Stephen Scott returned a fourth quarter fumble recovery for a touchdown. The end result was a win for the record books.  

For a program that was just reinstated back in 2015, ETSU won a share of the Southern Conference championship and advanced to the FCS playoffs in 2018 in year one of the Randy Sanders era. This past spring season, the Bucs again finished slotted in the national polls and went 4-2 in league play, a stretch that featured a win over 10th ranked VMI. Fresh off a resounding win over Vanderbilt, ETSU might be back in the rankings once again. 

A former quarterback and long-time assistant for Tennessee, Sanders from Morristown, now adds a win with ETSU over Vanderbilt to his resume.

The 'Bucs, set to begin SoCon play at Samford at the end of the month, move forward with the momentum of one of the biggest wins in program history.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports