Vanderbilt wins Music City Bowl to cap 9-4 season

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, second from right, leads his team onto the field for the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game against North Carolina State, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, second from right, leads his team onto the field for the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game against North Carolina State, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin watches from the sideline in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game against North Carolina State, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin watches from the sideline in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game against North Carolina State, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon (8) passes against Vanderbilt in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon (8) passes against Vanderbilt in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy (2) is stopped by North Carolina State linebacker Rickey Dowdy (34) in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy (2) is stopped by North Carolina State linebacker Rickey Dowdy (34) in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers (11) passes against North Carolina State in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers (11) passes against North Carolina State in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference is so strong that even Vanderbilt, yes Vandy, is winning like the Commodores haven't in nearly a century.

And coach James Franklin says everyone better get used to it.

Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Commodores capped their best season since 1915 by defeating North Carolina State 38-24 in the Music City Bowl on Monday.

"We're not going anywhere," a smiling and teary Franklin said.

The Commodores finished 9-4 for their best record since going 9-1 in 1915, and it's only the third time the smallest and only private university in the SEC has won as many as nine games in a season.

Vandy closed the season with seven straight wins for its longest streak since an eight-game run in 1948, and its 15 wins over the past two seasons is the program's best total since 1926 and 1927.

"When you're throwing out dates like 1915, you know that's a very, very, very long time," Franklin said. "Talk about these guys great-great grandparents. Seven-game win streak is the team's longest win streak since 1948, and we also currently have the longest win streak in the SEC, which we're very, very proud of."

Vanderbilt forced a season-high five turnovers, including four in the first half, and turned those into 17 points.

Interim coach Dana Bible ran N.C. State (7-6) after Tom O'Brien was fired at the end of the regular season. It was the Wolfpack's fifth game of the season with at least four turnovers, and it helped wipe out a 424-225 advantage in total offense.

Bible, who said he was head coach for another minute or two, took the blame for two of the interceptions for being aggressive.

"We took the other approach," Bible said. "Again a Southeast Conference team, Southeast Conference talent, those type things. We weren't going to play it safe. We weren't going to play back on this team. We were going to be attacking on it, and if they made a play on it, more power to them."

This was the 27th bowl for N.C. State, which had won its last two postseason games. But a team that ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in turnovers couldn't overcome its own mistakes, which also included a bad shotgun snap that cost the Wolfpack 21 yards on the opening drive.

Franklin got a contract extension a month ago for guiding the Dores to a second straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Franklin didn't change anything that got his Commodores here as he went for it on fourth down, used the wildcat repeatedly and even had senior running back Zac Stacy attempt a halfback pass to Rodgers.

Vandy wound up running for 117 yards, with Stacy getting 107 on 25 carries, mostly in the wildcat.

"Don't fix nothing if it is not broke," Stacy said.

Teammate Jordan Matthews called the offense the "wildZac."

"We could have let him kick today and he would have done great," Matthews said. "Any way you get the ball in his hands or around him it is going to work."

The Commodores took control from the opening drive, moving 65 yards for a touchdown that put them ahead to stay. Officials initially called Chris Boyd out of bounds, but the video review showed the sophomore got the toes of his right foot down for a 5-yard TD pass from Rodgers.

Commodores safety Kenny Ladler picked off a Glennon pass at the North Carolina State 45 for Vanderbilt's fifth interception in three games.

"It wasn't about going three-and-out," Glennon said of the Wolfpack's struggles. "It was just a matter of turning the ball over."

It was just a sign of what was to come in the first half. Johnell Thomas stripped Wolfpack freshman Shadrach Thornton late in the first quarter, and Derreon Herring stripped N.C. State tight end Asa Watson of the ball after a nice catch. Ladler recovered that ball.

And safety Eric Samuels intercepted Glennon with 54 seconds left in the first half.

Vanderbilt turned the third turnover into a touchdown, making it 14-0 in the second quarter. Stacy, the school's all-time leading rusher, scored on a 6-yard run with 10:08 left.

Tony Creecy responded with a 1-yard TD run for the Wolfpack. But Vanderbilt stuck with the wildcat, and Wesley Tate scored on a 7-yard TD run for a 21-7 lead with 3:47 left in the second.

Tobias Palmer, who struggled catching the ball on his first two kickoff returns, caught the next cleanly and ran untouched 94 yards for a TD that made it 21-14.

Rodgers tossed his second TD pass, a screen that Matthews took 18 yards to the end zone, to restore the 14-point lead and make it 28-14 at the break. That matched the most points the Commodores had scored in any of their five previous bowl games. Rodgers ran for a 15-yard TD with 5:11 left that sealed the victory.

"They were better today," N.C. State safety Earl Wolff said.

Trey Wilson picked off a Glennon pass intended for tight end Charlie Hegedus in the end zone on the opening drive of the third quarter only to be stopped by his own teammate, tackle Jared Morse, at the N.C. State 35. It was the kind of mistake that cost Vandy in years past.

Franklin immediately ran up to Morse yelling at the junior, making it clear that's not allowed at Vandy these days.

"I'm sure there will be some pictures of that over the Internet," Morse said.

___

Follow Teresa M. Walker on Twitter at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

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Comments » 26

vorangel writes:

Like it or not, Franklin has the Commodores playing solid football, and the future looks bright for them.
I attended the Vandy-Tennessee debacle at Nashville and watched pre-game warmups. Wish we had a few of those offensive linemen who didn't play, especially the Jelks kid.

standfast#211788 writes:

Good for Vandy! We are SEC!

murrayvol writes:

in response to standfast#211788:

Good for Vandy! We are SEC!

Speaking for yourself only.

cltvol writes:

I would like to, but I won't, congratulate Vandy on their first bowl win in the new technology age of televesion and jet flights across the continental U.S. On 2nd thought, I wouldn't even like to congratulate them

kyvol98 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

rtrchatt writes:

New sheriff in the state of Tn and his name is not Butch. Its Franklin.......

voloffaith writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

New sheriff in the state of Tn and his name is not Butch. Its Franklin.......

So your other cheer is go 'Fighting Irish'.......Dores won today...but not going off the cliff like ewe with "new shariff" in state....

gillblog writes:

Everyone hear that !???

A great cheer from the entire state of Tennessee....and maybe from the entire SEC:

USC 7

Ga Tech 21 !

(old Monty couldn't control his defense any better than he could control his own son)

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to gillblog:

Everyone hear that !???

A great cheer from the entire state of Tennessee....and maybe from the entire SEC:

USC 7

Ga Tech 21 !

(old Monty couldn't control his defense any better than he could control his own son)

Gill,

Justice was served. USC didn't want to be there..........skipped the dinner for both teams............so Mr. Cool and his shades were taken behind the wood shed.

We know Tennessee got what we got due to the horrid defense and very wrong choice as D Cordinator, so that's history. Vandy had a rare story of success.......going back almost 100 years for comparisons, etc. But they deserved the win.

Now, it's on to more success for the rest of the SEC teams. A note to fans of Tennessee rivals, enjoy your success.........and try to
show some class in doing so.

We'll be back........who knows when, but we WILL be back.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Way to go Vandy!
Way to go GT!
Geaux Tigers!
Go So.Car. beat Mich.
Go Bama beat Notre Damn!
Go rest of the SEC & Fla.St.
Up yours Gators!

GBO - WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR!

Happy New Year Vol fans & be careful when we land at the bottom of the cliff!

MathMan1973 writes:

Isn't it GREAT TO BE A VOL...Can't compete in football...Let's tear everyone else down...UT VOLS = Sad and Sorry Losers!

jt45 writes:

in response to gillblog:

Everyone hear that !???

A great cheer from the entire state of Tennessee....and maybe from the entire SEC:

USC 7

Ga Tech 21 !

(old Monty couldn't control his defense any better than he could control his own son)

Looks like Karma got the last laugh on LK. I wonder
if Tee realizes he bet on the wrong horse yet.

Reports are saying LK slithered by the media in a Black Hoodie and sunglasses. Priceless !

SevenT writes:

in response to kyvol98:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Stay Classy Vol Fan!

VOLVFL55 writes:

I know UT isn't in a bowl for the second straight year, thanks to that incompetent moron Hamilton getting a "bargain-bin hire", but why is a UT site posting about a Candybilt game? Who cares? Do they (Candy fans) not have enough money to build their own site that they have to piggy-back off the state's Flagship University?

gillblog writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Gill,

Justice was served. USC didn't want to be there..........skipped the dinner for both teams............so Mr. Cool and his shades were taken behind the wood shed.

We know Tennessee got what we got due to the horrid defense and very wrong choice as D Cordinator, so that's history. Vandy had a rare story of success.......going back almost 100 years for comparisons, etc. But they deserved the win.

Now, it's on to more success for the rest of the SEC teams. A note to fans of Tennessee rivals, enjoy your success.........and try to
show some class in doing so.

We'll be back........who knows when, but we WILL be back.

Best New Years wishes and a second to "We WILL be back" !

(my goodness, it seems watching LK loose is even more satisfying to me than watching Spurrier loose.)

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to SevenT:

Stay Classy Vol Fan!

what do you know about class?

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Way to go Vandy!
Way to go GT!
Geaux Tigers!
Go So.Car. beat Mich.
Go Bama beat Notre Damn!
Go rest of the SEC & Fla.St.
Up yours Gators!

GBO - WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR!

Happy New Year Vol fans & be careful when we land at the bottom of the cliff!

I work with a bunch of bandwagon bama fans that act like SevenT, professionalhandicapper, GlennFord, rtrchatterbox, littlezz and his many names and all the many other trolls on this site. Because of that I say GO IRISH!

MikeInTN writes:

An intense instate rivalry...trash talking...hating on each other...love it!!! GBO!!!

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to MathMan1973:

Isn't it GREAT TO BE A VOL...Can't compete in football...Let's tear everyone else down...UT VOLS = Sad and Sorry Losers!

Isnt that what your doing calling people lossers js

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

Stay Classy Vol Fan!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SevenT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Take it easy BIPOLAR!

Reach over to your left and hit the "Call Nurse" button. When she gets to your bed ask her to up your meds and loosen the straps on your straight jacket. I am concerned you are having a nervous breakdown.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to VolFanInTheBoro:

I work with a bunch of bandwagon bama fans that act like SevenT, professionalhandicapper, GlennFord, rtrchatterbox, littlezz and his many names and all the many other trolls on this site. Because of that I say GO IRISH!

Give you a hint Jr., Most Vol fans are as big of a-holes as any other school!
Where I live, most folks don't like N.D.
Come back when you can buy beer.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

I like the Commodores about like I do the rest of Tenn's SEC opponents (which is not very much), but I have to pass congrats along to the Dores for a good game and good season. I just hope we can reverse the results in a few SEC games next year, including Vandy.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. Maybe Butch will do better.
Happy New Year!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Give you a hint Jr., Most Vol fans are as big of a-holes as any other school!
Where I live, most folks don't like N.D.
Come back when you can buy beer.

Jr. from your post I can tell you would know about being an a hole. punk

murrayvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

Take it easy BIPOLAR!

Reach over to your left and hit the "Call Nurse" button. When she gets to your bed ask her to up your meds and loosen the straps on your straight jacket. I am concerned you are having a nervous breakdown.

You need some new writers. Lines are tired....and redundant.

BTW the most corrupt basketball program in NCAA history is finally showing a pulse (played U of L close). Congrats on that at least.

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