Draylen Ellis vs MTSU

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 6 of the college football season.  

TSU earns first win of '22 with impressive homecoming performance 

After a tough four-game start to the season, the Tennessee State Tigers finally earned their first win of the season on Saturday in exciting fashion with a triumphant homecoming performance against Bethune-Cookman. 

The Wildcats, who stayed in Nashville for the past week after their campus sustained damage from Hurricane Ian, were the first on the scoreboard with a field goal five minutes into the game. 

But the Tigers followed that with 31 unanswered points, including a 24-0 second quarter run, to take a 31-3 lead into halftime and complete control of the game. TSU actually had less yards of total offense than Bethune-Cookman (381-307), but it didn't matter with the rate they were scoring touchdowns.

Draylen Ellis returned to the lineup under center, finishing 10-18 for 138 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, with a 27-yard score on the ground in the win.

Vols up to No. 6 after dominant win at No. 25 LSU

That sound you heard reverberating throughout the state over the weekend? It was Tennessee Vols fans becoming dangerously excited (and paralyzingly nervous) realizing that they were one week away from hosting Alabama in a top-6 matchup 

That was about all there was to think about in the second half of UT's 40-13 win at LSU, as the Vols were up 30-7 early in the third quarter. Tennessee gained 502 total yards, forced two turnovers, and controlled the tempo of the entire contest. 

Hendon Hooker didn't quite light up the box score like he has been so far this season, but he finished an efficient 17-27 for 239 yards and two touchdowns with 56 more yards on the ground. 

The Third Saturday in October is going to be a little extra feisty this year with an unbeaten Tennessee squad looking for a signature win and a ravenous fan base waiting in Knoxville. 

Vandy blows halftime lead over No. 9 Ole Miss with brutal third quarter

College football fans thought one of the upsets of the season was potentially brewing on Saturday in Nashville as Vanderbilt took a 20-17 lead into the halftime break over No. 9 Ole Miss.

Were the 'Dores really going to hand the Rebels their first loss of the season? Alas, the Vanderbilt we all know and tolerate showed up in the second half. Ole Miss scored five consecutive touchdowns, including a 21-0 third quarter run, to win easily, 52-28. 

Freshman AJ Swann was composed once again, completing 27 of 38 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He's found a strong partnership with fellow freshman Jayden McGowan who made seven catches for 104 yards and a score.

MT falls to 0-2 in Conference USA after loss at UAB

The heights of the historic win over Miami seem a long way away. After earning their first victory over a ranked team in program history, Middle Tennessee has lost two in a row, both to Conference USA foes.

This week, the loss wasn't even a close one. The Blue Raiders fell behind 21-7 early and were down 38-7 at halftime before falling 41-14. It seemed as if UAB put up an avalanche of points in the blink of an eye.

MT will have another shot at their first conference win next weekend as rival Western Kentucky visits on homecoming. 

Pearl-Cohn product Shepherd back under center for Kennesaw State 

It has been an up-and-down season so far for former Pearl-Cohn quarterback Xavier Shepherd. The Kennesaw State quarterback, an FCS All-American and the Big South Player of the Year last season, struggled in his first two outings of 2022 and was benched for the next two games.

On Saturday, however, Shepherd returned to the starting lineup and led the Owls 40-34 overtime win over North Alabama for the team's first ASUN Conference win of the season.

Shepherd was 13-18 for 172 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions passing, with an additional 102 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries. It looks like he regained some of last season's stellar form.