NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- With a cloud hanging over the program, Alabama coach Dennis Franchione earned his first victory with the Crimson Tide.
Neal Thomas' fourth field goal with 5:01 remaining lifted Alabama to a 12-9 victory over Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Earlier this week, Alabama received official word from the NCAA detailing rules allegations that include playoffs and academic fraud.
Franchione, who built a solid program at Texas Christian, began his Alabama tenure with a 20-17 loss to UCLA last week.
His first victory at Alabama came in a game in which the teams scored no touchdowns. Chuck Folino booted three field goals for the Commodores (0-2, 0-1 SEC West).
The Crimson Tide have won 17 straight against Vanderbilt and lead the all-time series, 55-19-4.
After the teams traded a pair of field goals in the first half, Thomas' 31-yard put the Crimson Tide up, 9-6, with 1:32 left in the third quarter.
Folino tied it with a 38-yarder 7:10 into the fourth period.
Alabama's defense bent but did not break as Vanderbilt's Greg Zolman completed 17-of-34 for 253 yards. Lew Thomas paced the Commodores on the ground with 89 yards on 10 carries.
Ahmad Galloway rushed for 144 yards on 24 carries for Alabama (1-1, 1-0 SEC East) while Lew Thomas rushed for 89 yards on 10 carries.