CFN Music City Analysis - Vandy 38, NC St 24
Posted Dec 31, 2012

CFN's thoughts and analysis on Vanderbilt's win over the Wolfpack.

- < strong> Franklin American Mortgage Music City Vanderbilt 38, NC State 24

Vandy created several big breaks on defense and took advantage on offense with Jordan Rodgers throwing two touchdown passes and running for a game-sealing 15-yard score. NC State had a nightmare of a time with turnovers with three picks and two lost fumbles, putting it on the ground six times on the day, while Vanderbilt didn't make any big mistakes and committed two penalties. The lone gaffe by the Commodores came in the first half after a seven-yard Wesley Tate touchdown run, allowing a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Tobias Palmer. But 21-14 was as interesting as the Wolfpack would make it with the Vanderbilt defense coming up with a slew of big stops and takeaways and the offense always seeming to find an answer when needed.

Vanderbilt: 117 rushing yards to NC State's 41. … The offense converted just 3-of-14 third down chances. … QB Jordan Rodgers completed 16-of-25 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for a score. … WR Jordan Matthews caught seven passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. … RB Zac Stacy ran 25 times for 107 yards and a score. … P Richard Kent averaged 46.2 yards per punt on his five kicks, putting three inside the 20. … S Kenny Ladler led the game with ten tackles with a pick and a fumble recovery. … DE Kyle Woestmann made three tackles with two sacks and a forced fumble.

NC State: Tobias Palmer caught eight passes for 111 yards and returned six kickoffs for 173 yards and a score. … QB Mike Glennon completed 35-of-53 passes for 383 yards and a score with three picks. … S Earl Wolff led the team with nine tackles with a broken up pass. … CB David Amerson made seven tackles with a broken up pass. … LB Ricky Dowdy made seven tackles with three tackles for loss.

Richard Cirminiello

My respect and admiration for James Franklin increases every time I watch his Commodores play. The guy ought to be teaching a course at Vanderbilt on how to lead and improve one's marketability, regardless of the field or endeavor.

If I'm an NFL GM, I'm drafting NC State's Mike Glennon unless he suddenly shrinks three inches. However, I'm treating the 6-6 senior like a developmental prospect somewhere between rounds three and four. While the right coach can transform this kid into a special player, he'll need a lot more attention than some of draft-eligible quarterbacks.

The top priority of new Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren will be to get his new program to play with a lot more discipline than it did under predecessor Tom O'Brien. The Music City Bowl was NC State in a nutshell, squandering a 2-to-1 edge in total yards because of turnovers and penalties.

Vanderbilt produced slightly more than 200 yards, yet hung up 38 points on NC State. That's the sign of a well-coached team, one that doesn't necessarily require a prolific quarterback to get into the end zone.

As long as winning an SEC championship isn't on my bucket list, I'm accepting an offer to spend four years at Vanderbilt if I'm a high school senior. The combination of Franklin and that academic reputation would be enticing the way David Shaw and Stanford are on the West Coast.

By Russ Mitchell
Follow me @russmitchellcfb

Sometimes bowls are as much (or even more) about the extra practice time as they are the exhibition game itself. More about sending a message to underclassmen, to potential recruits or your conference foes.

That's what the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl was for Vanderbilt. Beating NC State was far less important than sending a message. Several messages.

Marketing a successful program in the nation's premier conference. Advertising that the Dores were in back-to-back bowl games for the first time since forever. Though perhaps most importantly, Vandy was selling its most valuable football of the nation's most dynamic coaches: James Franklin.

Franklin gets all this.

That's why Vandy went for it on 4-and-1 from its own 38 early in the fourth quarter. It's an exhibition game and you're up 14 points in the fourth quarter, and sure, a ninth win would be nice. But the far greater opportunity is to show to everyone watching, especially recruits, that this isn't your father's Vandy.

This is Franklin's Vandy.

The Commodores dominated nearly every facet of this game against NCSU, on and off the field. With a top 15 recruiting class now likely to only improve before the first Wednesday in February, the rest of the SEC would be well served to hear Vandy's message loud and clear.

READ MORE: Mitchell: Vanderbilt's Message