In Week 3 of the 2022 college football season, Vanderbilt now has 3 wins (with the help of a Week 0 victory), eclipsing its 2022 win total. Clark Lea’s squad picked up win No. 3 by going to DeKalb, Illinois and defeating Northern Illinois 38-28 on Saturday.

Adding to the fun, Vanderbilt’s victory was an upset. The Huskies were 2.5-point favorites in the game.

After an impressive performance off the bench last Saturday in Vanderbilt’s loss to Wake Forest, freshman QB AJ Swann got the start. Swann shined in his first start, going 18-of-28 for 255 yards and 4 touchdowns. Will Sheppard was his preferred target, recording 10 receptions for 171 yards and 2 TDs.

On the ground, Vandy rushed 39 times for 173 yards. Ray Davis provided the bulk of that production with 23 carries for 116 yards and a TD.

Lea’s squad had to engineer a second-half comeback on the road. In the third quarter, NIU extended its lead to 28-14. The Commodores responded with 3-straight touchdowns, taking a 35-28 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Joseph Bulovas made it 38-28, the game’s final score with a 35-yard field goal. The Dores secured the victory with a De’Rickey Wright interception with 4:15 remaining. From there, Vanderbilt was able to run out the clock the rest of the game.

Vandy won box score battles in total yards (428-354), first downs (21-17) and time of possession (30:44-29:16). Each team had 1 turnover while committing 5 penalties.

The Commodores are halfway to bowl eligibility with 3 wins. Unfortunately, they have a difficult SEC slate ahead with No. 2 Alabama, No. 20 Ole Miss and No. 1 Georgia for the first 3 conference contests.