By: Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt Commodores notched five takeaways against NC State on Monday en route to a 38-24 victory over the Wolfpack in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Vandy (9-4) was outgained by nearly 200 yards on the day, but the Commodore defense repeatedly forced NCSU quarterback Mike Glennon into game-changing mistakes. Glennon was picked off three times in Nashville in addition to two Wolfpack fumbles, and the ’Dores turned those miscues into 17 points while avoiding any giveaways of their own.
After the first half ended in a flurry – there were four touchdowns scored in the final 6:18 of the second quarter – Vanderbilt took a two-score advantage into the break. The Commodores then proceeded to score 10 straight points to open the second half, and by the time NC State (7-6) found the end zone again it did not have enough time remaining to dig itself out of the 21-point hole that Vandy had created.
Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher, turned in a characteristically strong performance with 107 yards and touchdown on the ground for the Commodores, and senior quarterback Jordan Rodgers capped off his career with a three-touchdown showing in the win. The SEC’s most productive receiving duo of 2012, Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd, combined for 79 yards and a pair of scores through the air.
Glennon attempted 53 passes on the afternoon on his way to 383 yards, but his three interceptions were critical in the outcome of the game. Tobais Palmer hauled in eight passes from Glennon for 111 yards in addition to a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown in the first half.
The victory marked number nine of the season for Vanderbilt, the first time the Commodores have reached the nine-win mark in nearly 97 years.
Passing – Jordan Rodgers, 16-for-25, 108 yards, 2 TD
Rushing – Zac Stacy, 25 car, 107 yards, TD
Receiving – Jordan Matthews, 7 rec, 61 yards, TD
Passing – Mike Glennon, 35-for-53, 383 yards, TD, 3 INT
Rushing – Tony Creecy, 9 car, 43 yards, TD
Receiving – Tobais Palmer, 8 rec, 111 yards
• James Franklin now has 15 wins in his first two seasons as head coach at Vanderbilt, the most wins for any Commodores coach in his first two years at the helm since Hall-of-Famer Dan McGugin won 16 games in 1904 and 1905.
• With the win Vanderbilt improved to 2-0 all-time against NC State, and 69-61-5 overall against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
• The Commodores finished the season on a seven-game win streak, the longest current streak in the Southeastern Conference.