By Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt wrapped up its regular season on Saturday in nail-biting fashion with a 23-21 victory over Wake Forest. Carey Spear came through in the clutch for the Commodores (8-4) with a 38-yard field goal that put Vandy ahead to stay with 39 seconds remaining.
After going into the half trailing by three, Wake Forest (4-8) defender Justin Jackson picked off Austyn Carta-Samuels and returned it 63 yards to the house to give the Demon Deacons the lead. Spear converted a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter, however, that sealed Vanderbilt’s eighth victory of the season.
Vanderbilt thoroughly outgained the Demon Deacons, finishing with 403 yards of offense compared to just 266 for Wake. The Commodores ran for 132 yards as a team, and Carta-Samuels tossed a touchdown to go along with 231 passing yards.
Carta-Samuels started off the scoring for Vandy with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Fitz Lassing, which Patton Robinette followed up with an 8-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Spear hit the first of his three field goals in the closing seconds of the half to put Vanderbilt ahead 17-14 after two quarters.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews was reliable as always for Vanderbilt, hauling in a game-high 11 passes for 125 yards.
Passing – Austyn Carta-Samuels, 24-for-33, 231 yards, TD, INT
Rushing – Brian Kimbrow, 13 car, 45 yards
Receiving – Jordan Matthews, 11 rec, 125 yards
Passing – Tanner Price, 16-for-32, 155 yards, INT
Rushing – Tanner Price, 12 car, 47 yards, TD
Receiving – Josh Harris, 3 rec, 40 yards
• Vanderbilt has now won eight games in consecutive regular seasons for the first time since 1927-1928.
• The Commodores are 14-4 over their last 18 games overall.
• Under James Franklin, Vandy has now won eight straight games in the month of November.