VANDERBILT MUSIC CITY BOWL CHAMPIONS
By JOE SHIVAK
Photos by Shaun Foster and Matt O”Donnell
Nashville, TN ( 12/31/12 )…………..The Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack at LP Field 38-24 in convincing fashion. The win culminated a successful season for second year coach James Franklin who improved the Dore’s record to 9-4 overall, matching the single-season high victories set twice previously in 1915 and 1904. Vanderbilt is now 2-0 in Music City Bowl appearances as they last defeated Boston College 16-14 in 2008.
Coach Franklin expressed a new Vanderbilt football image in the post game press conference, “We’re not going anywhere, so everybody better get used to it. This is the brand new Vanderbilt.”
The Commodores took the opening kickoff 65 yards in 10 plays to score with a 5 yard TD pass from Jordan Rogers to Chris Boyd. Rogers went 4 for 5 for 28 yards in the first drive marking his 14th touchdown pass of the season. Vanderbilt started with great field position thanks to a 32 yard return by Andre Hal. The Dore’s first snap was from their own 35 yard line. A 15 yard face mask penalty on the Wolfpack moved the ball to their own 16 yard line. Wesley Tate ran 6 yards down to the 10. An offside penalty gave the Dores a first and goal. Rodgers then threw to Boyd in the left corner of the endzone and the pass was first ruled incomplete but after an official review, the call on the field was overruled and Vandy was given the touchdown. Carey Spear added the extra point and the Wolfpack were called for roughing the kicker but Vandy declined the penalty.
The Wolfpack’s first possession started on their own 15 yard line. They picked up 3 first downs and moved the ball down to the Vandy 45 yard line. A bad snap on 3rd down resulted in a Wolfpack fumble which they recovered on their own 34 yard line. Vandy received the punt on their own 33 yard line but after picking up a first down on another Rogers to Boyd pass, they punt the ball back to North Carlolina State.
Mike Glennon’s pass is picked off on first down by Vandy’s Kenny Ladler. It’s Ladler’s second pick of the season and fourth of his career.
Vandy starts at State’s 45 yard line but Rodgers is sacked for a 6 yard loss. Rodgers connects on a 12 yard pass to Stacy. On third down, Rodgers misses Jordan Matthews on a pass. With 4th and 4, Vandy decides to gamble. Jordan tries to run on a quarterback keepers but gains nothing. NC State takes over on downs at their own 39 yard line. The first quarter ends two plays later with Vandy leading 7-0. Vanderbilt held the Wolfpack offense to 17 total yards in the quarter and did not allow any points for the seventh time this season.
NC State picks up one first down to open the second period but on the next set of downs, Johnell Thomas forces a fumble by Shadrach Thorton. The ball is recovered by Caleb Azubike at the Vandy 48 yard line. The Dores fail to pick up a first down after only picking up 6 yards and Richard Kent punts the ball away.
The Wolfpack get the ball but are a victum of yet another turnover as Glennon completes a pass to Asa Watson but Darreon Herring forced a fumble which was recovered by Kenny Ladler who ran the ball back to NC State’s 27 yard line.
For the next four plays, it’s all Stacy as he rushes for 6 yards for Vandy’s second score. Ryan Fowler’s extra point was tipped but went thru the uprights anyways giving Vandy a 14-0 lead. The score moved the ball 27 yards in 1:46.
The Wolfpack mount their first successful scoring drive on their next possesion. They move the ball 84 yards on 11 plays in 3:50 thanks mostly to a 28 yard Glennon to Palmer pass. A Glennon to Creecy pass moves the ball down to the 3 yard line where Creecy runs it in two plays later. Niklas Sade adds the extra point making the score Vandy 14-7.
Vandy’s Brian Kimbrow returns the kickoff 52 yards down to the NC State 47 yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty adds another 15 yards giving Vandy a 32 yard line start. The black and gold score 5 plays later when Tate runs it in from the 7 yard line. Spear adds another extra point and Vandy has a 21-7 lead.
The Wolfpack get another spark as Palmer returns the kick 94 yards as he goes untouched down the center of the field to score allowing NC State to pull again with a touchdown.
With 3:35 left to play until the half, Vanderbilt has a two set downs and has to punt it away. With about a minute left until the break, Glennon throws his second interception of the half as Eric Samuels picks the ball off at the State 30 yard line. On a trick play, Stacy misses a pass to a wide open Rogers in the endzone. Rogers comes back and connects again to Matthews and this time its an 18 yard gain.
North Carolina State gets the ball one last time before the half ends. They move it down to the Vandy 27 yard line with a Glennon to Palmer 13 yard pass. Sade attempts a 44 yard field goal to the north endzone but the ball falls short. Vandy takes a 28-14 lead into the locker room.
Turnovers have had the difference in the game so far. Vandy has intercepted Glennon twice and they recovered one Wolfpack fumble. NC State leads the stats with 13 first downs compared to Vandy’s 11. The Wolfpack have passed for 170 yards compared to 75 for the Commordores. State has 187 total yards compared to 151 for the Dores. Stacy has 69 yards rushing to lead all players. Creecy has 24 for NC State. Palmer has 70 yards in pass receiving for the Wolfpack while Matthews leads Vancy with 40. Palmer has also returned kickoff 3 times for 132 yards.
NC State gets the opening kickoff to start the second half. Glennon connects on a 26 yard pass to Rashard Smith. They move the ball down to the Vandy 25 yard line, but Glennon commits another error when Trey Wilson picks him off. Wilson runs the ball back 65 yards but is knocked out of bounds by his own player. Vandy starts their drive on the State 35 yard line. Stacy runs the wildcat offense and the Dores are able to get to the 12 yard line where Spear makes good on a 30 yard field goal giving Vandy a 31-14 lead.
Both teams exchange punts. Wil Baumann’s punt for NC State only went 22 yards giving the Dore’s another great opportunity. Vandy was able to get down to the State 27 yard line but where their drive stalled. Spear tried a 44 yard field goal, but it missed, wide right. The Wolfpack get the ball with 3:38 left in the 3rd quarter. Glennon moves his team with a 23 yard completion pass to Quintin Payton. From the Vandy 29 yard line, the Wolfpack switch to the ground game with Creecy running for 10 yards. Glennon then finds Creecy to move the ball to the 9 yard line as the quarter runs out.
On 4th down from the 7 yard line, Sade makes good on a 24 yard field goal making the score Vanderbilt 31-17. The Dores get the ball but after picking up only 1 first down, Richard Kent punts the ball 48 yards out of bounds to the State 22 yard line. The Wolfpack pick up 1 first down but face a 4th and 4 on the next set of downs. They elect to go for it, but Glennon throws an incomplete pass to Smith.
Vandy gets the ball on the NC State 44 yard line. The Dore’s keep the ball on the ground in order to use up the remaining game time. Rogers rushes 15 yards to score for Vandy making it 38-17.
The Wolfpack take the kickoff 71 yards in 10 plays to score their final touchdown with a Glennon to Smith 19 yard pass. The score is now Vandy 38-24.
NC State tries an on-side kick but Vandy is able to recover it on the State 46 yard line. The Dore’s run out the final 3:00 of the game giving them a popular Music City Bowl title.