AJ Swann NIU

Every week, the Nashville Post will have a roundup of the weekend's Nashville-area college football games, including top performers and takeaways, as well as updates from around the state and on local players.

Let's take a look back at the slate from week 3 of the college football season.  

Swann tosses four scores in first start for Vanderbilt 

Quarterback AJ Swann earned his first start for Vanderbilt (3-1) on Saturday at Northern Illinois, and it looks as if the freshman has taken the reigns over completely. 

After such a promising start to the season for Mike Wright, Swann came out and tossed four touchdowns in a 38-28 win on the road. He finished 18-28 with 255 yards and zero interceptions. Junior Will Sheppard was his top target, catching 10 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, while Ray Davis made an impact in the backfield with 116 yards and a score on 23 carries. Brentwood Academy alum Gavin Schoenwald also hauled in a score for the second straight week.

Next week will be the true test for the Commodores improved offense as they head to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama. Defenders like Anfernee Orji (12 tackles, 1.5 for loss on Saturday) and De'Rickey Wright (an interception) will need to make plays to keep the 'Dores in it. 

MT scores early and often at home vs TSU

In the first intra-Middle Tennessee matchup of the 2022 season, Middle Tennessee (2-1) took control of their outing against Tennessee State (0-3) early and never relinquished the lead. 

The Blue Raiders led 42-0 at the half, added one more touchdown in the first minute of the third quarter, and went on cruise control from that point forward. Sophomore running back Frank Peasant was the star for MT, carrying 13 times for 122 yards and three touchdowns. Chase Cunningham had another strong outing under center, passing 20-24 for 216 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick.

TSU were never able to get anything going on Saturday; their only score came late in the third quarter when backup quarterback Chayil Garnett found Jalen Rouse for a 34-yard score. After a brutal opening three-game stretch, the Tigers will enter a more winnable situation next week when Division II Lane College out of Jackson, Tenn. visits for the John Merritt Classic. 

UT dominates Akron, secures week 4 College Gameday visit 

Tennessee (3-0) did what they were supposed to do on Sunday by dominating a hapless Akron squad 63-6. The Vols led 35-0 at the half, didn't allow a touchdown all game, out-gained Akron 676 to 276. 

Hendon Hooker went 14-18 for 298 yards and two touchdowns, Jaylin Hyatt caught five passes for 166 yards and two scores, Jaylen Wright and Dylan Sampson each scored twice on the ground, Brentwood alum Walker Merrill caught another touchdown, and even former starter Joe Milton passed for a pair of scores. 

And all of that dominance led to a highly anticipated visit from College Gameday next weekend when No. 11 UT hosts No. 20 Florida at 2:30. Neyland should be rocking for that one. 

Austin Peay extends blowout streak to three weeks at Alabama A&M 

Austin Peay (3-1) dominated their opponent on Saturday for the third consecutive week.

The Govs allowed a field goal midway through the first quarter, but that was the only time Alabama A&M would score. APSU would score 28 unanswered to remain undefeated against FCS opponents. Quarterback Mike DiLiello compiled 172 total yards and three touchdowns, while the Govs defense forced three turnovers.

Next week will see Austin Peay make their first foray into ASUN play during their debut season in the conference. The Govs will host Eastern Kentucky on homecoming weekend in Clarksville 

Local freshman making early impact for No. 8 Kentucky 

The Kentucky Wildcats moved up to No. 8 in the AP Poll after a win on Saturday, the program's highest ranking since reaching No. 8 for two weeks in 2007, and a handful of local high school alums are making an impact as freshmen.

In the season opener, Pearl Cohn product Barion Brown took the opening kickoff of the second half 100 yards to the house in a win over Miami (Ohio). Brown was also one of the team's leading receivers on Saturday in a win over Youngstown State, making five catches for 56 yards.

Also in Saturday's win, Summit alum Keaten Wade made three tackles, including a half tackle for loss, and notched 0.5 sacks. The Spring Hill native has eight total tackles and a pass defended on the season. And this doesn't even account for Keaten's twin Destin, the 6A Mr. Football-winning quarterback who could take over under center for senior Will Levis next season.