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Vanderbilt caps best season since 1915

Published December 31, 2012 10:28 pm

Music City Bowl • Commodores win nine games in a season for just the third time.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Nashville, Tenn. • 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 had 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. Vanderbilt 38, N.C. State 24

NC State 0 14 0 10 — 24

Vanderbilt 7 21 3 7 — 38

First Quarter

Van • Boyd 5 pass from Rodgers (Spear kick), 9:51.

Second Quarter

Van • Stacy 6 run (Fowler kick), 10:08.

NCSt • Creecy 1 run (Sade kick), 6:18.

Van • Tate 7 run (Spear kick), 3:47.

NCSt • Palmer 94 kickoff return (Sade kick), 3:35.

Van • Matthews 18 pass from Rodgers (Fowler kick), :41.

Third Quarter

Van • FG Spear 30, 9:39.

Fourth Quarter

NCSt • FG Sade 24, 14:56.

Van • Rodgers 15 run (Spear kick), 5:11.

NCSt • Smith 19 pass from Glennon (Sade kick), 2:06.

Attendance • 55,801.

NCSt Van

First downs 24 17

Rushes-yards 25-41 41-117

Passing 383 108

Comp-Att-Int 35-53-3 16-27-0

Return Yards 5 77

Punts-Avg. 3-30.3 5-46.2

Fumbles-Lost 6-2 0-0

Penalties-yards 9-90 2-10

Time of Possession 27:04 32:56

Individual Statistics

Rushing • NC State, Creecy 9-43, Thornton 12-39,

Glennon 3-(minus 20), Team 1-(minus 21). Vanderbilt, Stacy 25-107,

Tate 9-14, Rodgers 4-6, Kimbrow 1-(minus 2), Matthews 1-(minus 4),

Team 1-(minus 4).

Passing • NC State, Glennon 35-53-3-383. Vanderbilt,

Rodgers 16-25-0-108, Carta-Samuels 0-1-0-0, Stacy 0-1-0-0.

Receiving • NC State, Palmer 8-111, Creecy 6-50, Thornton 5-41,

Smith 3-50, Payton 3-37, Carter 3-34, Talbert 3-29, Watson 2-21,

Underwood 1-5, Winkles 1-5. Vanderbilt, Matthews 7-61, Boyd 4-18, Tate 2-10, Scheu 2-7, Stacy 1-12.