Turnovers doom NC State in 38-24 loss to Vanderbilt
Posted December 31, 2012
Nashville, Tenn. — North Carolina State turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions Monday against Vanderbilt, setting the tone for a 38-24 loss in the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
Quarterback Mike Glennon was intercepted three times in his final game for the Wolfpack, including one time in the endzone, as the Commodores scored 17 of their 38 points on possessions following turnovers.
“It was certainly what got us in a hole but to be honest that’s coaching, I take the blame for that,” said head coach Dana Bible. “ When you play against a team like Vanderbilt, you can’t make mistakes like that. We practiced hard through December to make sure ball security was toward the top, but obviously we didn’t get that done.”
Despite scoring 38 points, Vanderbilt (9-4) had just one drive of over 50 yards, starting in NC State Territory nine times. NC State also did not help their cause committing nine penalties for 90 yards.
NC State senior safety Earl Wolff, who led the team with nine tackles, said he can’t remember ever playing in a game in which the defense was put in short-field situations that many times.
“That’s adversity but football is a game of adversity and that’s how we looked at it,” Wolff said.
Vanderbilt took the lead on the game’s opening possession as they went 65 yards in 10 plays on a drive capped by a 5-yard pass from Jordan Rodgers to Chris Boyd.
The Commodores added a sore early in the second quarter on a 6-yard run by Zac Stacy. The senior running back carried 25 times on the game for 107 yards and the one touchown.
NC State was able to get on the board midway through the second quarter on a 1-yard Tony Creecy run that finished off an 84-yard drive.
Vanderbilt responded on the next possession with a Wesley Tate touchdown run after a big kick return set them up at the NC State 45-yard line.
The highlight-play of the day for NC State came via a 94-yard kick return by Tobias Palmer. After mishandling two previous kickoffs, Palmer fielded the kick off clean and went through the middle of the wedge, out-running the Vanderbilt coverage once he got through the first wave.
Rodgers, the younger brother of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, added a touchdown pass late in the first half after a Wolfpack turnover and ran for a score in the fourth quarter. For the day, Rodgers was 16-for-25 for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
“Today, it started with the defense and they put us in great positions,” Rodgers said. “They did an unbelievable job and really dictated the game.”
Glennon threw for 383 yards and a touchdown on 53 attempts as NC State played from behind. Palmer led all receivers with eight catches for 111 yards. Creecy was just shy of 100 combined yards for the game amassing 43 yards on the ground and 50 receiving.
With the win, Vanderbilt tied a program-high with nine wins, a record that dated back to 1915. The Commodores also hold the longest winning streak in the SEC with seven in a row.