Chat: NC State falls to Vanderbilt, 38-24
Posted December 27, 2012
Updated December 31, 2012
Nashville, Tenn. — 2:06 4th: Vandy 38, NC State 24
Mike Glennon connected with Rashard Smith for a TD with a little over two minutes to play, but the TD was a little too little too late for the Pack.
5:11 4th: Vandy 38, NC State 17
Jordan Rodgers completed a 15 yard pass on 4th and 14, then rand for a 15-yard TD in a four minute drive to put the punctuation on the Music City Bowl as Vandy leads 38-17.
14:56 4th: Vandy 31, NC State 17
NC State opted for a short 24-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter and are down two touchdowns with the final frame to play.
End of 3rd: Vandy 31, NC State 14
NC State has averted disaster with a dropped interception and an offensive fumble recovery and are at the 7-yard line facing 4th and goal headed to the final frame down three scores.
9:39 3rd: Vandy 31, NC State 14
Mike Glennon drove NC State into scoring range to open the half just to be intercepted for the third time and Vanderbilt was able to add three points to their lead.
Through 35 minutes of game time, NC State has out-gained Vandy by 70 yards but is minus-5 in the turnover margin and has four penalties for 50 yards.
HALF: Vandy 28 NC State 14
NC State drove down to the Vandy 27 with 2 seconds left in the half setting Niklas Sade up with a 44-yard field goal but the attempt never had a chance and the Wolfpack go to break down 28-14.
:41 2nd: Vandy 28, NC State 14
A fourth NC State turnover led to a 2-play touchdown drive right before the half and Vandy has opened up the game to two scores.
The first play of the drive appeared to be a score as a halfback pass was wide open but overthrown. Jordan Matthews broke a tackle and scored on the second play.
3:35 2nd: Vandy 21, NC State 14
After dropping a couple kickoffs earlier, Tobias Palmer had no trouble as he went 94 yards for a touchdown on the kickoff following a Vandy score.
Great blocking on the kick as well, but Palmer had 15 yards of separation as he hit the opposing 20.
3:47: 2nd: Vandy 21, NC State 7
A 52-yard kick return was aided by a 15-yard personal foul call and Vandy had a short field that resulted in another touchdown.
Wesley Tate got the final 7 yards on the drive.
6:18 2nd: Vandy 14, NC State 7
Tony Creecy got NC State on the board wit ha 1-yard TD run to cap an 11-play, 84-yard drive.
Following earlier fumbles, Shadrach Thornton and Asa Watson did not see the field on the scoring drive. A big run by Creecy and a long pass to Tobias Palmer propelled the scoring drive for the Wolfpack.
10:08 2nd: Vandy 14, NC State 0
A third NC State turnover of the first half led to a short field and a touchdown for Vanderbilt and the Commodores lead is now 14-0.
The most recent turnover was an Asa Watson fumble returned to the 22-yard line. Shadrach Thornton also has a fumble and Mike Glennon has thrown an interception in the 1st half.
End 1st: Vandy 7, NC State 0
After a 10-play drive to start the game, Vanderbilt was held without a 1st down the rest of the quarter. NC State, meanwhile did not help themselves with an interception and multiple
9:51 1st: Vandy 7, NC State 0
Vanderbilt took the opening drive 60 yards in 10 plays and got a highlight-reel TD catch by Chris Boyd to grab a 7-0 lead on NC State.
NC State gave up a 3rd and long on the drive on a 10-yard rush by Zac Stacey and had two penalties to help Vandy move down the field.
The Vanderbilt Commodores will stay in Nashville for their postseason action as they take on the NC State Wolfpack in the 2012 Music City Bowl at LP Field.
"I love Nashville, and I'm excited about the (possibility) of the Music City Bowl, but we try to focus our time on the things that we can control, and wherever they tell us we're going we will be unbelievably excited," VU's coach James Franklin said after the team's regular-season finale win over Wake Forest. "There is no bad bowl game."
Franklin got his wish after leading his Commodores to an 8-4 record, its best in 30 years, courtesy of a six-game winning streak that they will take into the bowl game. The Commodores also finished with an impressive 5-3 mark in SEC action. Vanderbilt's last loss came on Oct. 13 when it hosted Florida and its previous losses came to South Carolina, Northwestern, and Georgia, who are all playing in bowl games this season. Franklin has done a tremendous job since taking over the helm of the program as he has now led it to an unprecedented two straight bowl game appearances and its best record in 30 years after a 2-4 start.
Vanderbilt may not know what to expect as it takes on an inconsistent yet talented NC State squad. The Wolfpack will be led by Dana Bible for one game after Tom O'Brien was dismissed on Nov. 25 despite the team's 7-5 finish to the regular season that yielded the school's fourth consecutive bowl appearance. The program will move forward under the guidance of Dave Doeren, who led Northern Illinois to a BCS game this season. The Wolfpack tallied a 4-4 ACC record that included a victory over Florida State but an embarrassing 33-6 home loss to Virginia.
"This is our last chance together," said Bible. "It is important to us that we finish strong. There is nothing better than being successful in a bowl game. There are no bad teams in a bowl game. We're playing the top guys and they will bring their A-game. Its a chance for us to bring our A-game and anytime there is that type of challenge you want to run with it."
This will be just the second meeting in history between these schools on the gridiron. The only previous matchup game in 1946 when Vandy earned a 7-0 decision.
The Wolfpack's air it out offensive system gave them the 20th best pass offense in the FBS (304.0 ypg), but a 106th ranked rushing attack with only 116.9 yards on the ground per contest.
Graduate student QB Mike Glennon led the offensive attack with NC State and joined Phillip Rivers as the only other player in school history to average more than 300 yards passing per game in a single season. Glennon finished the regular season with an ACC best 3,648 yards and 30 TDs to 14 interceptions on 295-of-511 passing. The fifth-year QB had a strong finish to the season with 738 yards and eight TD passes in his last two outings.
Glennon has a trio of capable receivers in Quintin Payton, Tobias Palmer, and Bryan Underwood. Payton ended the season with team-high totals of 48 catches and 761 yards. Palmer made history on Nov. 17 at Clemson with an ACC record 496 all-purpose yards (277 kick return, 219 receiving). He made five of his six touchdown grabs in the final two games of the season. Underwood reeled in 43 receptions for 615 yards and 10 TDs, which is the second most in the ACC.
The Wolfpack's defensive unit gave up 419.7 yards per game, but allowed an average of only 24.5 points due to its aggressive nature. NC State led the ACC in sacks per game (2.7) and ranked 10th in the FBS in tackles for loss (7.5).
Safeties Earl Wolff (110) and Brandan Bishop (99) were the team's top tacklers. All-American David Amerson tied for first in the conference with five interceptions, while Justin Burris and Bishop recorded three picks apiece. The talented and physical secondary of NC State has the respect of its opposition's head coach.
"We usually have a size advantage, but we really don't this week. They are huge at the corner, 6-2 and 6-3 is what they are, which is unusually large not only for college but even for the NFL," said Franklin on NC State's secondary.
Vandy's offense picked it up down the stretch with 430 yards or more of total offense in four of its last five games after reaching that mark just once in its first seven outings. The unit began to thrive as quarterback Jordan Rodgers and tailback Zac Stacy found their groove.
Rodgers, the younger brother of the All-Pro NFL QB Aaron Rodgers, finished his first season as a full-time starter with 2,431 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions with a 59.5 completion percentage. The senior signal caller has thrown two touchdown passes in five straight games with only three picks during that span.
Stacy reached the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season by gaining 180 yards on 21 carries in the regular-season finale at Wake Forest to bring hi season total to 1,034. He also scored twice on the ground to arrive at nine rushing TDs. Thanks to his stellar junior and senior campaigns, Stacy is the all-time leading rusher in the school's 123-year history.
Rodgers also has a pair of dynamic targets in Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd. Matthews was the second leading receiver in the SEC and sixth in the FBS with 1,262 yards and seven TDs on 87 receptions. Boyd, who has terrific size for a wideout at 6-4, 205, also made an impact with 756 yards and four TDs on 46 catches.
Defensively, the Commodores were solid all season long as they allowed only Georgia, Florida, and Ole Miss to gain more than 400 yards of total offense against them. Vandy finished the regular season ranked 17th in the FBS in total defense (326.4) and 15th in scoring defense (18.3). The junior safety tandem of Kenny Ladler and Javon Marshall tied for the team-lead with 80 tackles each. Chase Garnham and Karl Butler contributed 11.5 tackles for loss apiece to the unit that totaled 93 to go along with 28 sacks. Trey Wilson is the Commodores' best defensive playmaker as he returned both of his interceptions for scores.
The Wolfpack have been a team that rarely lives up to expectations for better or worse this season. NC State has a lot of adjustments to make as the coaching staff is undergoing major changes and the direction of the program is clearly changing. Vanderbilt has been red hot for awhile now and its head coach is quickly becoming one of the most respected and influential in college football. The Commodores' offensive unit needs to be efficient in this one as Glennon is obviously capable of a big performance.