NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Southeastern Conference is so strong that now even Vanderbilt – yes Vandy – is winning like the Commodores haven’t in nearly a century.
Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Commodores capped their best season since 1915 Monday by beating North Carolina State 38-24 in the Music City Bowl.
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 Southeastern Conference has won as many as nine games in a season. They also finished with seven straight wins, their longest streak since winning eight in 1948.
Vanderbilt forced a season-high five turnovers, four in the first half, and turned those into 17 points.
N.C. State (7-6) wrapped up the season under interim coach Dana Bible snapping a two-game bowl winning streak. The Wolfpack had their fifth game with at least four turnovers, and that helped wipe out a 424-225 advantage in total offense.
N.C. State, which ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in turnover margin, couldn’t overcome its own mistakes, which also included a bad shotgun snap that cost the Wolfpack 21 yards on the opening drive.
Vandy coach James Franklin, who got a contract extension a month ago for guiding the Dores to a second straight bowl game for the first time in school history, continued his practice of using gadgets and gambles with great success.